UTMB's Office of the President and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion held the Hector P. Garcia awards ceremony and luncheon featuring keynote speaker, Dr. Katherine A. Flores, chairwoman, Board of Directors National Hispanic Medical Association director, UCSF-Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research.

The event recognizes the many contributions that Dr. Garcia made to his country, state and community as a physician and human rights advocate. Garcia was born in the state of Taumalipas, Mexico and came to Texas as a small child when his family fled the chaos of the Mexican Revolution. He graduated from the medical branch in 1940 and went on to serve as a decorated hero in World War II. On his return, he founded the G.I. Forum, which became one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations. He served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and was appointed to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. In 1984, he was the first Mexican-American to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor, awarded by President Ronald Reagan.

UTMB medical student, Roxanne Radi was the winner of the Hector P. Garcia 2012 Cultural Competence award for her essay on cultural competency that she describes as "respecting the context within which each and every person on this planet chooses to exist."