President’s Gala Honors Herrmanns and School
Karen and Ronald Herrmann Recognized for Dedication to School
The 2019 President’s Gala celebrated the 50th anniversary of the School of Nursing and honored philanthropists Karen and Ronald Herrmann for their legacy of support.
With a record attendance of 1,800 guests, the gala in September raised more than $1.5 million to establish two endowments that will have a great impact on caregivers.
With $500,000 raised from the event, the Karen and Ronald Herrmann Endowment for Research to Advance Excellence in Caregiving was established. The endowment supports innovative research to develop and test new models of care, clinical trials, intervention delivery and emerging technologies to address the needs of diverse caregiving families in South Texas.
A gift of $1 million from the Herrmanns is establishing the Karen and Ronald Herrmann Distinguished Chair in Caregiver Research in the School of Nursing. This is the school’s first distinguished chair. The nursing school will be recruiting a scientist to expand the research aspects of the Caring for the Caregiver Program.
The School of Nursing’s Caring for the Caregiver Program was created by Director Carole White, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Nancy Smith Hurd President’s Chair in Geriatric Nursing and Aging Studies. The program focuses on improving the quality of life for caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Caregivers are provided evidence-based services, support and education with the goal of supporting their health, skills and resilience.
Caring for the Caregiver offers educational training for each stage of care, hands-on skills training, peer support training, support groups facilitated by health care professionals, and a web site with information about resources for care.
In addition to providing one-on-one assistance to caregivers, the program collaborates with community health agencies focusing on dementia care, support and research. Raising awareness for those living with dementia and their caregivers is part of the program’s promotion of San Antonio as a dementia friendly community.
Dr. White’s team also is committed to research dedicated to identifying effective interventions to address the strain and burden associated with caregiving and to the translation of evidence-based practices for caregivers into routine care.
During the gala, UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, surprised the crowd by sharing the news about the $1 million gift from the Herrmanns.
“This exceptional generosity will forever be a notable milestone in the school’s history and will catalyze needed research on how best to support those who will serve as caregivers in the future,” Dr. Henrich said.
Dr. Henrich praised the Herrmanns for their passion and community service. “They both have left an indelible mark on the thousands of people who know and love them and the numerous organizations in San Antonio, Texas and our nation for which they have served as volunteers and generous supporters,” he said. “We at UT Health San Antonio are very proud and extremely honored to have been beneficiaries of not only their treasure, but of their time and friendship.”
Karen Herrmann has served on the Nursing Advisory Council and is a member of the board of governors of the Mays Cancer Center, among many other volunteer and philanthropic endeavors.
Ronald Herrmann “has committed himself to countless professional, civic and charitable organizations over his lifetime,” Dr. Henrich said. Ronald is a lifetime member of the UT Health San Antonio Development Board.
Dr. Henrich also recognized and praised faculty and alumni of the School of Nursing. “We are thankful for our School of Nursing and all nurses everywhere who serve, along with all caregivers, the missions of care, education and research,” he said.