A salute to service
UT Health San Antonio’s historic ties with the military and the life-changing collaborations between the two were celebrated at the ninth annual President’s Gala in September.
More than 1,600 community leaders, faculty, staff and students attended the gala that raised over $500,000. William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, university president, announced that gala proceeds will establish The Maj. Gen. (USA Ret.) Joe and Patty Robles Chair in Military Health Research.
Gen. and Mrs. Robles were recognized for their service to the nation, San Antonio’s military community and USAA. Gen. Robles served USAA as president and CEO from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. UT System Chancellor Bill McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral, and his wife, Georgeann, served as honorary chairs of the gala.
“Joe and Patty have made, and continue to make, exemplary contributions to San Antonio, to our military and to the welfare of our entire community and country,” Dr. Henrich said. “They are our city’s finest examples of integrity and kindness, and they embody military values in all respects.”
The Robles Chair in Military Health Research, Dr. Henrich added, “will be dedicated in perpetuity to supporting [UT Health San Antonio] as we lead innovative medical research, health education and clinical care that enhances and nurtures military collaborations. One of our top priorities is to improve the health and well-being of military personnel and veterans throughout our community, state and nation.”
Gen. Robles was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 and served in multiple command and staff positions, including active-duty posts in Korea, Vietnam and Germany, and in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He retired in 1994 and joined USAA that year, serving as chief financial officer and controller and in other executive administrative positions.
The university has enjoyed a close relationship with the military for decades. In 2014, UT Health San Antonio formalized this collaboration by establishing the Military Health Institute under the leadership of Byron C. Hepburn, M.D., Maj. Gen. (USAF Ret.), founding director of the institute and associate vice president of UT Health San Antonio.
According to its vision statement, the Military Health Institute will be the nation’s leader in health-related academic collaborations that improve the health and resiliency of the nation’s military service members, veterans and their families.