Progress  |  A Report on Renewal and Growth at The University of Texas Medical Branch

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The UTMB senior leadership team (left to right): Donna K. Sollenberger, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer for the UTMB Health System; William R. Elger, Executive Vice President and Chief Business and Finance Officer; Dr. David L. Callender, President; and Dr. Garland D. Anderson, Executive Vice President, Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine.
A Message
from the President

Welcome to Progress: A Report on Renewal and Growth at the University of Texas Medical Branch, which covers events of fiscal year 2009, along with accomplishments in the early months of FY2010 and what they mean for the institution’s future. These pages chronicle tremendous achievement during one of the most challenging periods in UTMB’s storied history. We were severely tested but, in the end, our challenges proved to be no match for the dedication and resolve of our faculty, staff, students, alumni and supporters in the Houston/Galveston region and beyond.

UTMB has come a long way since Hurricane Ike made landfall on September 13, 2008, flooding 1 million square feet of business space and causing $1 billion in damages. Since those first few weeks after the storm—when clinics, classrooms and laboratories were quickly reopened—the Galveston National Laboratory was dedicated, John Sealy Hospital and our emergency room reopened, major research funding was secured at almost the same level as we had the previous year, 100 more students than the year before were enrolled, an impressive class of new students was recruited in each of our four health sciences schools, and fiscal year 2009 closed with our financial performance ahead of budget.

We also welcomed a new executive vice president and chief business and finance officer, and a new executive vice president and chief executive officer of our Health System. Together with the executive vice president, provost and dean of the School of Medicine, these new hires join me to round out UTMB’s senior leadership team. And, the university recently became a formal member of the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, further strengthening our long-standing ties and opportunities for collaboration in education, research and patient care with various member institutions.

Ike will always be a significant part of our history and will occupy our attention as we continue the process of recovery and “storm-proofing” over the next three years. That work began in earnest in January 2010 and, at peak activity, we expect to have 1,000 contractors on the Galveston campus helping us restore, rebuild and grow.

But Hurricane Ike does not define UTMB’s future. No doubt the storm will be remembered in many different ways, but I see it as a catalyst for growth and increased recognition. Awareness of UTMB’s importance to Texas has never been greater. From the hundreds of health sciences professionals we graduate every year and the medical advances we make possible through our research to the primary, specialty and trauma care we deliver, UTMB is a critical part of our state’s health care system and economic vitality.

In the coming year, we will embark upon a major rebranding initiative and finalize plans for a comprehensive fund-raising campaign, both of which will enable us to expand the impact of our excellence well into the future. Over the next two to three years, we will focus on:

  • Recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty for our education, research and patient care enterprises
  • Optimizing Health System capacity and service for the benefit of patients, employees and students
  • Ensuring we have the kind of facilities that will enrich the educational experience, provide ample space to expand on our research capabilities and enable us to offer patients the most advanced treatment in a healing environment.

Looking farther ahead, we plan to increase enrollment in all of our schools to help address the serious and mounting shortage of health care providers and health scientists that Texas and the nation face today. We also will focus our expertise in such areas as diabetes, neurosciences, cancer and cardiovascular disease to become a leading center for the treatment of chronic diseases associated with aging. Such diseases already are leading causes of death and disability. If left unchecked as our population ages, they promise to have increasingly devastating effects on individuals, families and society as a whole. We at UTMB are confident we can forge a more hopeful future in which such ailments are effectively prevented or managed.

In 2009, our path ahead was uncertain. In 2010, as the pages that follow illustrate, we are making bold strides toward a bright future. We have ambitious plans, but they are eminently attainable for a place with the talent and skills embodied in the people of UTMB, and the priceless support of alumni, friends, the UT System, state leadership and legislative representatives near and far. Great accomplishments await us in the years ahead, and we hope you will join us on our journey.


Dr. David L. Callender

For more information on UTMB’s accomplishments and plans, visit: