View of Galveston Island from Pelican Island

Community Liaison Committee (CLC)

Since 1997 UTMB has been engaged in an extensive and far-reaching dialogue with a broad spectrum of the Galveston community. This dialogue has focused on UTMB’s desire to enhance its infectious diseases research program and to aide community members in understanding the importance of this work.

In 2006, during the construction of the Galveston National Laboratory, and in advance of its dedication, the president of UTMB enlisted the support of the Galveston County Judge to create an independent committee made up of community leaders and interested citizens who could serve as advisors to GNL leadership regarding concerns of the broader community. Committee members serve three year terms and are appointed by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Health Affairs of The University of Texas System.

Known as the Community Liaison Committee (CLC), the group meets at least six times a year with GNL and university leadership to learn about research taking place within the GNL and to discuss issues that may be of interest or concern to community members. Topics of discussion cover a range of topics that include reports from faculty and students on their infectious disease research, regulatory challenges facing the laboratory, budgetary concerns, the use of animals in research, emergency preparedness, occupational health issues, international collaborations, and concerns from the community.

There are nine members of the Community Liaison Committee, and through the years, more than 30 different individuals from the Galveston community have served. The CLC has been instrumental in advising GNL leadership on ways to communicate complex scientific concepts to the public. Committee members have facilitated community outreach activities, have met with elected officials alongside university leadership, have reviewed policies and have provided valuable guidance regarding the complex issues involved with high containment medical research.

Current CLC Members

Ms. Mary Beth Bassett
Tourism and Communications Professional

Ms. Sheila Lidstone
Retired UTMB Executive, Communications Expert

Mr. Tony Brown
Attorney, School Board Trustee

Mr. Steven Marsh
Retired, Southwestern Bell
Galveston Resident

Ms. Sally Byrom
Healthcare Professional

Mr. Neil N. Nathan, CLU
Nathan Insurance Agency

Mr. Tony Gonzalez
Entrepreneur, Restauranteur, Neighbor

Ms. Maureen Patton
Executive Director, The Grand Opera House

Ms. B.J. Herz
Community Volunteer, Retired Educator