President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP

A message from the president

William L. Henrich, M.D. William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP President Professor of Medicine UT Health Science Center at San Antonio

Why making lives better matters

As we head into another new year at our UT Health Science Center, we are reminded of the accomplishments for which we can all be proud. We also find ourselves in a new era of some uncertainty, with many questions looming. The economy remains sluggish, political rhetoric is active and the way forward ardently debated.

What comes to mind is a story about Gertrude Stein, the great American writer. As she was on her death bed, friends and relatives heard her utter what they thought were her last words, “What is the answer?” she asked. Heads nodded in approval for this fitting profundity as a suitable benediction to a life so richly lived. But, as it turns out, she was not quite finished. Moments later, she uttered what were to be her final words, “What is the question?”

The brilliance of this sequence is that it reminds us that from thoughtfully posed, precisely targeted questions, follow answers which truly matter.

This issue of Mission helps answer the question “Why?” Why support the UT Health Science Center? I am often asked this question by community leaders, legislators and people I meet every day.

On the cover of our winter issue of Mission is 24-year-old Larysa Sholom. Her story is one of courage and inspiration and reminds us why our work is so important. Our missions of education, healing, discovery and community service are proliferated by one goal – to make lives better.

We deeply appreciate the generosity and leadership of our donors and friends, including Bill Greehey, Charles Butt, Wayne Reaud, Charles E. Cheever Jr., the trustees of the Kleberg Foundation and Dr. and Mrs. James L. Holly.

Their efforts support lifesaving translational research, such as the work of Joel B. Baseman, Ph.D. Dr. Baseman’s groundbreaking studies will ultimately provide new treatments for acute and chronic respiratory problems, including asthma and chronic bronchitis that affect millions. Because of a generous $10.2 million gift from the CTRC (Cancer Therapy & Research Center) Foundation, we can continue to recruit top-notch scientists such as our new CTRC deputy director Tim Hui-Ming Huang, Ph.D. Dr. Huang is focusing on developing new technologies toward early detection of cancer and new approaches to treat this deadly disease.

These are just a few examples that answer the question “Why?” And for those who ask “How?” I must first emphasize that every gift, no matter the amount, makes a difference. There are so many ways to support the UT Health Science Center – by making an annual or planned gift, investing in a student scholarship, establishing an endowment, or by naming a laboratory or classroom.

I am always proud to answer the question “Why support the UT Health Science Center?” I am never at a loss for reasons. Thank you for sharing in our pledge to make lives better.


William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
Professor of Medicine
UT Health Science Center at San Antonio

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