President’s Cabinet Awards 

For more than 30 years, the President's Cabinet has provided a vehicle for UTMB and the community to work together to support these promising initiatives to improve health and well-being.


Download application here.
Proposals must be received by 4:30 PM, Friday, May 10, 2024.

For more information all 409-772-5151 or email

  • Building Long-Term Academic Success Through Ongoing Fun Fitness (BLASTOFF) Program

    Karen Ratcliff, PhD, OTR
    Claudia Hilton, PhD, OTR, MBA, FAOTA
    Occupational Therapy

    Studies have shown that physical activity during school time can increase attention and memory and reduce inappropriate behavior, resulting in improved academic performance. In an effort to assist academically low-performing students at Odyssey Academy in Galveston, the UTMB Occupational Therapy Department will create a sustainable motor lab program called BLASTOFF and work with students in the school's reading intervention program five days per week for 20 minutes per session. The BLASTOFF lab will be equipped with dance software, a gaming system, gross motor skills equipment, motor coordination and fitness gams and more.

  • Cancer Connection: From Diagnosis to Treatment

    Cheron J. Hillmon, LMSW
    Community Health

    In an effort to support patients with cancer at UTMB, Chemo Care bags will be given to patients at the beginning of their chemo or radiation therapy. These bags will contain educational and treatment materials and comfort items such as lip balm, lotion, blankets, journals, socks and ginger candies. Each bag will be specially packed by people who have gone through similar treatments and know what items would be of most value. The goal is to provide first-time patients with much-needed items and allow them to pack other comfort itmes for subsequent appointments.  This award will provide funding for 600 bags over a two-year period.

  • Inspiring Girls to Help Meet Our Future STEM Workforce Needs

    Dr. Marguerite Sognier
    Science Education

    There is a critical need for additional qualified workers in careers utilizing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Women continue to remain underrepresented in STEM fields and strategies are needed to inform and inspire more pre-college level girls to this arena. To foster awareness, this project will create an annual STEM Career Conference for girls in grades 3-8 throughout Galveston County. Participants will be exposed to science, math, engineering and technology-related careers by attending hands-on workshops presented by successful women from universities, businesses and government agencies. Examples of conference exploration workshops are aerospace, accounting, engineering, petrochemical industry, maritime industry, biomedical sciences, health care, zoology, and more.

  • Lifelong Learning for Angleton Danbury

    Michael Washburn, MA
    Michelle Sierpina, PhD
    Osher Lifelong Learning Institute

    Since 2002, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UTMB in Galveston has successfully provided a welcoming learning environment to adults age 55 and over. Because of its enormous success and the growth of UTMB's presence in Brazoria County, this project will help establish a similar lifelong learning community for residents in Angleton, Danbury and surrounding areas. President's Cabinet funds will be used to create a basic classroom infrastructure at an Angleton location and provide free one-year memberships to the program for under served community members. College level courses, age appropriate fitness activities, consultations and a variety of health-related workshops will be modeled after the successful OLLI program in Galveston.

  • Pain, Pain Go Away:  Reducing the Perception of Pain in Children with Comfort for Kids

    Stephanie Kemmerling, MSN, FNP-C

    The pain associated with medical procedures can cause significant stress and anxiety for child and their families. Studies show that distractions are considered an effective, safe and low-cost method to reduce pain and anxiety during medical procedures. Because UTMB's outpatient pediatric clinics lack resources to provide distraction techniques for children, President's Cabinet funds will provide for the creation of 25 specialized portable pediatric care kits that will include age-appropriate toys, an iPad loaded with specialized comfort applications and an external vibratory buzzing device. These kits will be distributed to clinics based on the severity of the medical procedures that take place, including immunizations, venipuncture, cryotherapy, biopsies, etc.


  • St. Vincent's PUSH for Prevention: Partnership with UTMB to Screen for HIV

    Dr. Premal Patel
    John Davis, PhD student
    Manasa Kanukurthy, School of Medicine Student
    Naim Mekdessi, School of Medicine Student
    Zhihao Zhu, School of Medicine Student
    Internal Medicine

    Currently, St. Vincent's Clinic does not have the necessary infrastructure or resources to screen patients for HIV/AIDS according to the guidelines of the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Because of these limitations, the decision to order HIV testing is often based on patient requests and clinical intuition. The development of a pilot HIV screening program at St. Vincent's will improve adherence to USPSTF guidelines, provide linkage to care for a vulnerable populations likely to be at high-risk for transmissions and serve as a platform for incorporating comprehensive preventive medical care and establish population health monitoring.

  • The Gift of Life: Building & Sustaining Capacity for Eye Care at St. Vincent's House

    Mona Singh, MD, MPA, PGY4
    Lance Lyons, MD, PGY3
    Jed Assam, MD, PGY2
    Misha Syed, MD, MEHP
    Mary Schmitz Brown
    Ophthalmology and Visual Science

    Building on the success of a 2011 President's Cabinet Award that provided hundreds of patients in the greater Galveston area with sight-saving diabetic retinopathy treatment and follow-up exams, this new award will expand vision services to a large economically disadvantaged population that depend upon the St. Vincent's Eye Clinic for their complete eye care. Award funds will be used to upgrade and purchase new equipment, broaden services, supply patients with quality eyeglass prescriptions, provide testing modalities and treatment avenues for patients with glaucoma and develop charity cataract surgery services.


  • Transitional Care Management Program for St. Vincent's Nurse Managed Clinic

    Dr. J. Michael Leger
    Dr. Maureen Biggs
    School of Nursing

    Transitional Care Management (TCM) programs have proven effective in bridging gaps across health care settings, particularly for patients deemed at high risk for poor medical outcomes. With an estimated 3,000 patients seeking medical treatment at the St. Vincent's House Nurse Manage Clinic annually, more than 17 percent of these patients are considered at-risk and often "fall through the cracks." To help with this problem, this project will provide for the services of a nurse transition care manager to facilitate a TCM program at St. Vincent's. The objective is to build a rapport with patients, provide disease-specific education to facilitate self-management, perform medication reconciliation, confirm follow-up appointments, and provide care management to support treatment.

Awards by Year