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

  • Eurus: Pressure-Cuff Emergency Use Resuscitator System

    Aisen C. Chacin, PhD
    Christopher J. Zahner, MD
    Nursing Program Development

    In response to the urgent need for ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic, UTMB staff developed an emergency ventilator prototype that uses readily available medical supplies to supplement care should the need arise. Invented and tested in the UTMB MakerHealth Space Lab –another President’s Cabinet project—this simple blood-pressure cuff device was broadcast around the world. To test, manufacture and deploy these devices, a bio-compatibility study will need to be conducted to obtain FDA approval. Funding provided by the President’s Cabinet will support three studies, a series of design/manufacturing/engineering consultations, materials for 50 units, packaging, and distribution.

  • Hats for the Homeless

    Andrea S. Francis, MS2 Student
    Richard Wagner, MD
    School of Medicine / Dermatology

    Many homeless present to the St. Vincent’s House Clinic in Galveston with advanced skin cancers. While most people are able to shelter or use sun protective factor (SPF) products during peak sun exposure hours, these options are not available for the homeless. In order to reduce the risk of facial skin cancer in this population, UTMB students will distribute 100 hats with sun protective rims and neck coverings to the homeless. Students will also provide education about the dangers of sunlight exposure and the importance of seeking shade and wearing a hat to prevent skin cancer. Follow up will be conducted to evaluate hat use and identify barriers to implementation.

  • Mobile Research Clinic for Outreach and Community Health (Mobi-COACH)

    Sharon A. Croisant, MS, PhD
    Cornelius Elferink, PhD
    Preventive Medicine & Population Health

    Over the past decade, our community has faced numerous natural and man made disasters and infectious disease outbreaks. Improving our capacity to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies is vital. To assist, a recreational vehicle was retrofitted into a mobile clinic in 2013 and has been used to provide aid in emergent situations and travel to vulnerable populations. In order to meet the growing requests for COVID-19 testing and public outreach to the homeless population, President’s Cabinet funding will outfit this mobile clinic with impermeable surfaces, install a handicap ramp system, purchase a field portable gas chromatography-mass spectrometry unit, purchase clinical and phlebotomy supplies and allow for installation of an external canopy to be used for a waiting area.

  • Respite Care for Geriatric Patients - UTMB Geriatrics and St. Vincent's House

    Melissa Lockhart, PhD, APRN, GNP
    Erin Hommel, MD
    Andrea Wirt, MSN, GNP
    Internal Medicine - Geriatrics

    Caregiver burden is significant for families of geriatric patients. Following the success of a 2019 collaboration between the UTMB Geriatrics Department and the St. Vincent’s House Clinic, this project seeks to expand free respite care to all UTMB campuses. By providing more than 1,340 hours of free respite services, this program seeks to reduce caregiver stress, anxiety, and depression. Based on referrals from UTMB providers and social workers, contracted service providers from three local licensed in-home agencies will be dispatched to urban and rural geriatric patient homes to assist and/or relieve caregivers. Caregivers participating in Galveston, Brazoria and Harris counties will have the option to choose half-day or full-day periods.

  • St. Vincent's SCAN - A Project to Store, Convert, Archive and Navigate Old Medical Records

    Joseanne Smathers
    Jacob Moran, GSBS Graduate Assistant
    Justine Sheu, MS4 Student
    School of Medicine

    The medical clinics at the St. Vincent’s House Clinic in Galveston are undergoing significant changes including adjustments to clinical space and the implementation of a new Electronic Medical Record system. These changes resulted in the need to relocate old paper medical records. Temporarily placed in plastic containers on the property, these records need to be digitized for long-term storage and efficient navigation. By purchasing scanning equipment, establishing a temporary manager of records, and providing incentives to student volunteers this project seeks to complete digitization of paper charts by September 2021.

  • Students Educating Students: K-12 Activities for Public Health and Pandemic Preparedness

    Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH
    Science Education

    A recent survey administered by the UTMB Office of Educational Outreach to area students in grades 6-12 revealed a lack of age-appropriate information regarding COVID-19 and ways to stay safe. To help address this need, UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Research students will design public health and basic science materials and activities that are scientifically accurate and age-appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school levels. A series of free professional development workshops will be held to recruit Galveston County teachers, provide training, and obtain educator feedback. Teachers who implement the materials will be given a small stipend and all necessary supplies and provisions, including pre-post tests to determine student comprehension.

  • Training Students for a Future in Health Care

    Rebecca Trout Unbehagen
    Ashley Adair
    Strategic and Business Planning

    This project builds on an existing partnership between UTMB and the Friendswood Independent School District (FISD) and will support the education of high school students enrolled in a new dual-credit Emergency Medical Technician certification program at College of the Mainland. By purchasing an ambulance simulator, FISD health sciences students will be exposed to emergency medical concepts, procedures, and skills while developing their ability to communicate and work as a team in a medical crisis. The simulated ambulance will be equipped with flashing lights, life support and narcotics cabinets, attendant seat, oxygen outlet, IV hanger, disposable sharps container and an overhead camera system and monitor to allow instructor review and feedback.

  • UTMB Food Pantry

    Semira K. Solomon, GSBS student (MPH Program)
    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences / Preventive Medicine & Population Health

    A growing number of university’s in Texas are committed to fighting food insecurity because many students struggle academically, mentally, and emotionally due to their inability to afford sustainable meals. UTMB students experience the same issue as many do not have the ability to manage a job and attend school full time. To meet the needs of food insecurities for our students, this project will create a centrally located pantry at the Jamail Student Center on the Galveston campus. President’s Cabinet funds will be used to purchase refrigerators, a freezer, shelving, storage bins, a platform cart and cleaning supplies. Food will be supplied and delivered weekly through a partnership with the Galveston County Food Bank.
  • UTMB OR Recycling Program

    Jenny Pennycuff, MD
    Angela McDowell
    Jeff Cigelski, MD
    Department of Sustainability

    Currently, UTMB pays to dispose of Operating Room (OR) waste by weight. Decreasing the amount of waste through recycling can result in significant savings. This project will outfit 18 ORs at the Galveston campus with signage, stainless steel recycling bins and distinctive blue disposable liners. All plastics that do not have patient identifiers or have not touched a patient will be recycled. A series of educational sessions will be held to train faculty and staff on how to collect recyclable materials in the OR without disrupting work flow. The amount of recyclable waste to be collected through this program is approximately 200 pounds per month.

Awards by Year