Pulse Video Update

Office of the President

There are multiple ways to access the Pulse messages. In addition to the recap in Weekly Relays, you can watch and listen to the videos from this site (below); please use a modern web browser for the best experience. If you are at a PC without audio or speakers, closed captioning on the videos can be turned "On" and "Off" by clicking the “CC” symbol in the video player tool bar (the symbol displays once you hit "play," on the right side of the tool bar). Closed captioning is now on by default.  Or, you can also access the transcripts on this web site to read the messages; a transcript accompanies each video. If you are a social media user, the videos (with subtitles) are posted to the UTMB employee Facebook page, I Am UTMB. Facebook will display captions if you mute your sound.

A video message from the president:

  • Directive from Governor Greg Abbott requires restrictions on use of TikTok

    December 14, 2022, 15:32 PM by Dr. Charles P. Mouton

    Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently  directed state agencies to block TikTok on all state-owned and state-operated devices. The order is intended to minimize information security risks to state agencies related to use of the social media platform. This means that, effective immediately, the downloading or use of TikTok on any UTMB network or UTMB-owned device, including computers and tablets, is prohibited. This applies to faculty, staff, students, contractors and volunteers.

    In addition, any departments that are using TikTok accounts for official UTMB business purposes, including education or community outreach, should contact the Office of Strategy and Communications—Digital Communications at social@utmb.edu to discuss necessary steps to comply with the Governor’s order. (Please include “TikTok” in the subject line.)

    We understand that this may be an inconvenience for some of our community members who use TikTok for personal or professional purposes. However, it is essential that we follow the Governor’s order and support efforts to protect the state’s information resources.

    Over the coming days and weeks several technical measures will be taken to ensure that we comply with this order. As these changes occur, the Office of Information Security will provide updates and assistance to our campus community to ensure a smooth transition to meeting these requirements. In the meantime, please refrain from downloading or accessing TikTok on your UTMB devices. If you have already downloaded TikTok, please remove it from any UTMB-owned device.

    If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please do not hesitate to contact the ITS Service Desk for assistance. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


    Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA

    President ad interim

    Executive Provost and Executive Dean

    Thomas N. and Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

  • A reminder about UTMB's Media Relations policy

    October 27, 2022, 08:56 AM by Stephen Hadley

    President ad Interim Dr. Charles P. Mouton

    Along with successfully meeting our mission objectives of caring for patients, educating future health care providers and conducting life-saving research, we recognize the importance for UTMB to communicate publicly through various media outlets. Now more than ever, it’s imperative that we share factual, science-based information with our community and to do so; however, it is vital that we coordinate our communications efforts with UTMB’s Office of Media Relations.

    One of the ways we communicate our work is through our researchers, providers, and educators conducting interviews with local, state, national, and international news media.  But it’s equally important that all UTMB faculty, staff, and students understand that UTMB does have a policy related to how media interviews are to be conducted. As a reminder, the UTMB Media Relations policy—defined by Institutional Handbook of Operating Procedures Policy 02.09.01—stipulates, in part: 

    “Faculty, staff, and students who are contacted by the media must direct the inquirer to the UTMB Media Relations team. A UTMB Media Relations representative will follow up with the inquirer to obtain details regarding the context, scope, and timing of the request. The Media Relations team member will also determine the best spokesperson to comment or to be interviewed on a given topic. Requests for interviews will be respectfully declined by a member of the Media Relations team if the opportunity for media coverage is not in the best interest of UTMB. 

    “Staff, students, and faculty members who, in their official capacity at UTMB, author editorial works (OpEds, guest columns, Letters to the Editor) shall submit their work, in advance, to the Media Relations Office prior to submission.

    “While UTMB does not seek or intend to infringe upon an individual’s First Amendment rights, editorial comment developed as a representative of UTMB should reflect, promote, and align with UTMB’s mission. The Media Relations Office will collaborate with the author to ensure publication of such material in the appropriate news outlet.”

    If you are contacted by a member of the media as part of your official capacity at UTMB, please direct the inquiry to the UTMB Media Relations team via email at utmbnews@utmb.edu or by calling the Media Relations hotline at (409) 772-6397 before conducting an interview with a media representative.

    Thank you in advance for working together to ensure that the information we provide to our communities is accurate and balanced and supports our important mission work as we improve health in Texas and beyond.



    Sincerely yours,

    Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
    President ad interim
    Executive Provost and Executive Dean
    Thomas N. and Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

  • Dr. Charles P. Mouton announces two new ad interim leaders in the Academic Enterprise

    September 23, 2022, 15:38 PM by Melissa Harman

    President ad Interim Dr. Charles P. Mouton

    I am pleased to announce two new ad interim leaders in the Academic Enterprise.

    Deborah J. Jones, PhD, MSN, RN Deborah J. Jones, PhD, MSN, RN, has agreed to serve as Provost ad interim effective Sept. 22, 2022. Dr. Jones has provided outstanding leadership as Senior Vice President and Dean of our School of Nursing (SON), a role she will maintain as she accepts this new responsibility.

    Dr. Jones joined UTMB in December 2017 from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Nursing, where she spent nine years as an educator and academic leader. Her leadership roles included Associate Dean for Professional Development and Faculty Affairs, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Programs, and Department Chair. She has also engaged in research focused on improving outcomes in acute and critically ill patients through evidence-based oral health practices and interprofessional education.

    Dr. Jones holds a PhD in Nursing with a concentration on Biobehavioral Clinical Research from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. She also earned a Master of Science in Nursing in the Nurse Executive track from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her Bachelor of Science in Nursing is from Radford University in Radford, Va.

    Dr. Jones is holder of the Rebecca Sealy Distinguished Centennial Chair. She was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing and has been a Fellow of the Leadership for Academic Nursing Program in the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

    Dr. Jones has a wide range of experience as a clinician, researcher, educator, and leader, and I appreciate her strong commitment to faculty and student success. I am confident she will be an exceptional leader for our Academic Enterprise. Please help me welcome her as Provost ad interim.

    Jeffrey L. Susman, MD Jeffrey L. Susman, MD, has accepted the role of Dean ad interim, John Sealy School of Medicine (JSSOM) effective Sept. 22, 2022. Dr. Susman joined UTMB as Senior Associate Dean for Educational Improvement in JSSOM in February 2022 and has an impressive history of leadership in academic medicine.

    Dr. Susman began his medical career as a rural clinician in Wahoo, Nebraska. He then joined the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), where he became Vice Chair of Family Medicine, Associate Dean for Primary Care and Faculty Development, and led UNMC’s primary care clinician group. In 2000, he became Chair of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Cincinnati. He was a board member of the health system, chair of the physicians’ organization, and secretary of the physician-hospital organization. He was an ACE Fellow at the University of Colorado.

    Dr. Susman became Dean at the Northeast Ohio Medical University (NEOMED) College of Medicine in 2010. During his tenure, he oversaw the development of multiple new research and educational facilities while more than doubling NEOMED’s NIH funding. He established a campus in Cleveland in collaboration with Cleveland State University devoted to the recruitment and success of underrepresented minorities. As Chair of the Council of Deans, he oversaw a new health and wellness center, development of a medical practice, the simulation center, and interactions across the state. He also chaired the Ohio Council of Medical Deans.

    Dr. Susman’s wealth of experience and knowledge will serve him well as Dean ad interim, and I know the JSSOM will be in excellent hands with his leadership. Please join me in welcoming him to this new role.

    Sincerely yours,

    Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
    President ad interim
    Executive Provost and Executive Dean
    Thomas N. and Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

  • A Message from Dr. Charles P. Mouton, President ad interim

    September 9, 2022, 00:00 AM by Dr. Charles P. Mouton

    President ad Interim Dr. Charles P. Mouton

    As we begin this fiscal and academic year with new executive leadership at UTMB, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how honored I am to serve as your President ad interim. UTMB is a special place and, together, we will continue the growth and progress of our mission.

    Earlier this week I recorded this video message for you to give you reassurance about UTMB’s direction and focus. It briefly outlines how much we have achieved and where we’re going from here. To capture what everyone has done at UTMB over the past year, we would have to produce a mini-series to cover everything. But I hope this short, high-level overview gives you a sense of our accomplishments and our vision for the coming year.

    (Can’t see the image above? Please visit our alternate stream for this message.)

    Ours is a strong institution with talented people and a comprehensive strategic plan. Thank you for your continued great work in service to better health. I’m looking forward to working with you.

    Charles P. Mouton, MD, MS, MBA
    President ad interim
    Executive Provost and Executive Dean
    Thomas N. and Gleaves T. James Distinguished Chair

  • Team Award Payments for Eligible Employees May 27

    May 24, 2022, 10:58 AM by Dr. Ben G. Raimer

    I am writing to share some positive news about UTMB’s financial status now that we have passed the midway point in Fiscal Year 2022. As of April 30, UTMB’s Adjusted Margin for the month was $21.6 million, which was $6.1 million favorable to planned results. Year-to-date, UTMB’s Adjusted Margin was $7.7 million, which was $1.0 million favorable to planned results. 

    Because of this achievement—and understanding the impact overall inflation and higher gas prices are having on personal budgets—the UTMB Executive Leadership team has decided to expedite payment of FY22 Team Awards. I am very pleased to announce that eligible UTMB Classified employees will receive a Team Award of $500 (before taxes) through a payment issued on Friday, May 27. 

    Eligible employees are those who:

    • are in a Classified, benefits-eligible position,
    • have at least 6 months of continuous, active employment as of the May 27 payout date,
    • are not participating in an at-risk or faculty compensation plan, and
    • have had no corrective action taken related to job performance since Sept. 1, 2021.

    While our ability to issue Team Awards depends on our financial performance, the awards also are one way the executive leaders and I can express our deep appreciation for your hard work and commitment to advance our education, research and patient care missions.

    You are there for each other and for those we serve every day, no matter the challenge. What you do at UTMB matters so much to so many people. We are honored to work together with you.

    On behalf of the Executive Leadership team, thank you!


    Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP


  • Introducing the UTMB John Sealy School of Medicine

    March 10, 2022, 11:33 AM by Stephen Hadley

    This morning, at a small ceremony in the Old Red Amphitheater, a document was signed by officials from UT System, The Sealy & Smith Foundation and UTMB to officially change the name of our School of Medicine. I am very pleased to announce that, from this day forward, the University of Texas Medical Branch is home to the John Sealy School of Medicine.

    This historic change is happening on a historic day. Exactly 100 years ago, on March 10, 1922, The Sealy & Smith Foundation was established. The naming of the School of Medicine is in honor of the Texas entrepreneur, philanthropist and Sealy family patriarch whose original bequest of $50,000 helped build the first John Sealy Hospital, thereby inspiring the state of Texas to open the UT Medical Department in Galveston. John Sealy’s direct descendants started the Foundation to ensure ongoing support for the care of Galvestonians and the university’s mission.

    Between John Sealy’s death and the Foundation’s establishment, the Sealy family contributed significant personal funds to expand health care and operate the hospital. Since 1922, the Foundation has contributed more than $1 billion to our mission—one of the largest cumulative contributions to an American institution in history.

    Everything UTMB is today—and will be in the future—can trace its origins to this unprecedented philanthropy. Because of this support, we have grown from being the state’s first medical school into an academic medical center that continues to care for Galvestonians while improving health worldwide.

    From four generations of Galveston Campus hospitals to the Galveston National Laboratory, from faculty endowments now collectively valued at $80 million to a biomedical research fund that is now worth $180 million, the Foundation’s support can be felt both locally and nationally in all areas of UTMB’s mission.

    To learn more, read the related press release

    You can also view a brief video on the John Sealy family and The Sealy & Smith Foundation.

    A video recording of today’s signing ceremony will be available soon.

    We are deeply grateful to John Sealy, his family and The Sealy & Smith Foundation for their role in establishing, sustaining and growing UTMB. They have always been committed to supporting health sciences education, medical research and clinical advances, with a vision rooted in the health of Galveston but also benefitting our state, nation and world. It is a most fitting tribute that the state’s first school of medicine be named for John Sealy.

    Please join me in celebrating this milestone for our community, our university and our mission.

    Thank you.

    Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP


  • Reorganization Among Finance Leadership

    February 4, 2022, 16:02 PM by Stephen Hadley

    I am very pleased to announce the next phase in the reorganization of our finance group. These changes will not only position UTMB Health for even greater success in the future but will allow us to make the best use of the considerable talents and skills among our finance leaders.

    • Aaron LeMay’s current role will evolve to Interim Chief Financial and Business Officer for UTMB Health. Reporting directly to the President, he will oversee our budget, accounting and reporting, revenue cycle and supply chain functions. He will also provide institutional leadership for financial leaders in the Academic Enterprise and Health System.
    • Lynn McGinley will continue to serve as Vice President, Finance—Institutional Support, and will assume additional duties related to overall budget planning. She will also lead the Capital Planning & Reporting and Controller teams on an interim basis.
    • Emily Goertz, Vice President for Revenue Cycle Operations, and Chris Toomes, Vice President for Supply Chain Services will continue in their current roles and report to Aaron.
    • Dustin Thomas has been named Chief Financial Officer for the Health System, in preparation for David Gruener’s retirement as Health System Vice President for Finance. Reporting to Dr. Tim Harlin, the new CFO role will take on additional responsibilities overseeing the future financial and operational success of the Health System.
    • In a dual role, Dustin will also serve as UTMB’s Chief Analytics Officer. As CAO, he will work closely with executive leadership and all mission areas to oversee university-wide data analytics and governance. 
    • Gabe Hernandez will continue in his role as Vice President for Finance—Academic Enterprise, providing oversight for all financial matters related to that mission area. 

    Please join me in thanking Aaron, Lynn and Dustin for taking on these new roles and Emily, Chris and Gabe for continuing their outstanding efforts in support of our mission. In addition, I want to take this opportunity to offer our deepest appreciation and congratulations to David Gruener and to David Connaughton, Associate Vice President for Finance—Correctional Managed Care, for their tremendous service to UTMB and our Health System, as they prepare to retire. We also welcome Emily Mielsch in her new role replacing David Connaughton in providing oversight for CMC’s financial success.

    Thank you for supporting these leaders in their important work to ensure the financial health of Texas’ first academic health center.

  • Temporary stay on federal CMS vaccine mandate

    December 1, 2021, 11:19 AM by Stephen Hadley

    U.S. District Court ruling means CMS Interim Final Rule will not be implemented/enforced at UTMB, pending further Court order

    As you are aware, UTMB announced its intention to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule, which requires all members of the UTMB workforce and student body—faculty; staff; licensed practitioners, including community physicians with hospital privileges at UTMB; students; trainees; volunteers; and contracted staff—to receive the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by December 6, 2021, and to receive the second dose of a two-dose COVD-19 vaccine for full vaccination by January 4, 2022.

    On November 16, 2021, the State of Texas filed a Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction requesting that covered entities in the State of Texas be temporarily stopped from implementing and enforcing CMS’ Interim Final Rule. Other states also filed Motions for Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary Injunctions, including the State of Louisiana.

    On November 30, 2021, the United States District Court, Western District of Louisiana, Monroe Division granted the State of Louisiana’s motion and temporarily restrained CMS from implementing its vaccination mandate. This Court’s order applies nationwide to all health care providers, suppliers, owners, employees, and all others covered by the CMS vaccination mandate.

    Based on this ruling, UTMB will immediately cease all implementation and enforcement of the Interim Final Rule pending further Court order. Accordingly, all individuals who were previously advised that they would not be permitted to work, perform services or attend class at UTMB based on non-compliance with the Interim Final Rule can report to UTMB on December 6, 2021. However, you must continue to follow UTMB’s established COVID-19 policies and procedures as set forth in https://www.utmb.edu/covid-19/employees-studentswhile on-site.

    If you have an approved medical and/or religious exemption and accommodation to CMS’ Interim Final Rule, you may disregard the accommodation at this time, but you must continue to follow UTMB’s established COVID-19 policies and procedures as set forth above. 

    If you have a pending medical and/or religious exemption request and/or accommodation request, no decisions will be made until a further Court order is issued.

    We will keep you updated on any additional Court orders related to the federal CMS vaccine mandate. Thank you for your continuing commitment to our mission and flexibility in an evolving situation. 

    Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP


  • An update on the federal CMS vaccine mandate

    November 23, 2021, 15:45 PM by Stephen Hadley

    As a follow-up to the Nov. 11 announcement of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), I wanted to provide these updates and reminders to all UTMB employees, students/trainees, volunteers and contractors:

    Deadline for vaccination/approved exemption

    • Compliance with the federal mandate requires some level of COVID-19 vaccination (at minimum: a one-dose vaccine or the first dose of a two-dose vaccine) or an approved medical or religious exemption by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5.
    • Individuals who want to continue working, studying or volunteering at UTMB as of 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5, must submit documentation of vaccination or have an approved exemption by that time.
    • Individuals who receive the first dose of a two-dose vaccine by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5, must receive the second dose by 11:59 p.m., Jan. 3.

    Need the vaccine?

    • You can schedule your vaccine with UTMB online.
    • If you don’t live close to a UTMB vaccination location, you can contact your health care provider, local retail pharmacy or county health department.
    • If you obtain a vaccine from a place other than UTMB Employee Health, please scan a copy of your vaccination record to Employee Health or Student Health by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5.

    Already vaccinated?

    • If you are already vaccinated but received an email from Human Resources indicating UTMB does not have a record of your vaccine, please submit your COVID-19 vaccination documentation to Employee Health or Student Health by 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5.
    • This includes individuals who received their vaccine from someplace other than UTMB Employee Health (e.g., your personal UTMB physician, other health care provider, an outside pharmacy).
    • If you are already vaccinated and did NOT receive an email from HR indicating otherwise, UTMB has your vaccination on record and you are in compliance.

    Exemption requests

    Missing the 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5, 2021, federal compliance deadline

    • Individuals who have NOT done the following by the 11:59 p.m., Dec. 5, federal compliance deadline will not be permitted to work, attend class or volunteer at UTMB until compliance with the federal mandate is achieved:
      • Submitted vaccine documentation if requested to do so via email by HR, or
      • Received the vaccine, or
      • Received an approved medical or religious observance, belief or practice exemption.
    • These individuals may use paid vacation/holiday/compensatory time accruals (no sick leave) or leave without pay until they achieve compliance with the federal mandate through either an approved vaccine or approved medical or religious observance, belief or practice exemption.

    The latest information on the CMS federal mandate, including FAQs and exemption request forms, is available online.

    UTMB has always supported vaccination to protect our workforce, student body, patients, volunteers and communities, while also respecting the choices of individuals. However, it is essential for us to comply with the CMS federal mandate. Thank you for taking the appropriate action now to preserve our mission.

    Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP


  • Federal vaccine mandate will apply to all UTMB employees, students, volunteers and contractors 

    November 11, 2021, 16:48 PM by Stephen Hadley

    On Nov. 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule, which applies to all Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and supplier types, such as UTMB.

    Our workforce, student body and volunteers are essential to our mission. Compliance with these vaccine mandates is equally essential. Non-compliance would jeopardize significant federal funding that is critical to our training programs, research priorities and health care services.

    As a result, UTMB currently intends to comply with this Federal emergency regulation and requirements related to the COVID-19 vaccine mandates. Specifically, under this Federal regulation, UTMB will be required to complete the following: 

    • Establish a process or plan to vaccinate all eligible staff, which has been defined as employees, licensed practitioners, students, trainees, volunteers and contracted staff; 
    • Establish a process or plan to provide exemptions and accommodations for those who are exempt; and 
    • Establish a process or plan for tracking and documenting staff vaccinations.

    This Federal regulation will apply to the following, both current and new, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact: 

    • All UTMB employees, including faculty 
    • Licensed practitioners, including community physicians with UTMB privileges 
    • Students 
    • Trainees 
    • Volunteers 
    • Contracted Staff 

    This Federal regulation will apply to all of the above groups, even if they perform duties offsite, as they may enter into a CMS-regulated facility during the course and scope of their employment and/or association with UTMB.

    All individuals listed above will be required to get the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine by Dec. 6, 2021. Additionally, all individuals listed above who did not get a single-dose vaccine will be required to get the second dose of a two-dose COVD-19 vaccine for full vaccination by Jan. 4, 2022.

    Because this Federal regulation does not include a testing option for unvaccinated staff, vaccination will be the only option. 

    However, UTMB will allow for the following exemptions to staff in accordance with Federal law: 

    • Recognized medical conditions for which vaccines are contraindicated; and 
    • Religious beliefs, observances or practices. 

    We need your help to ensure UTMB’s compliance. Every UTMB employee, student, volunteer and contractor MUST take one of the following steps on or before Dec. 6, 2021, in order to continue working, attending class or volunteering at UTMB: 

    • If you are not vaccinated and are not requesting an exemption, please get your vaccine as soon as possible. You can schedule online at COVID-19 Vaccine or contact your local physician, pharmacy or health department. 
    • If you are already vaccinated (or are getting vaccinated between now and Dec. 6) but received your vaccine at a place other than UTMB, please email a scan of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to Employee Health or Student Health
    • If you are not capable of being vaccinated due to a medical condition for which vaccines are contraindicated or due to religious beliefs, observances or practices, please request an exemption by completing the appropriate form and submit it to covid_vaccine_exemption@utmb.edu by Nov. 19, 2021, to ensure time for consideration and compliance.  

    Important Note: The medical exemption request requires a health care provider’s signature, so do not delay if you plan to request this exemption. 

    We will always respect the diversity of our university community—including diversity of opinions. To this point, we have been able to agree to disagree on matters concerning the COVID-19 vaccine. But now is the time for quick action. For the sake of our historic mission and the health and well-being of everyone we serve, I urge you to take the appropriate steps by Dec. 6, 2021, to ensure UTMB’s compliance with these federal mandates. 

    For more information, visit this web page for related FAQs and forms. 

    Thank you for your continued commitment and hard work to improve the health of our communities. 

    Ben G. Raimer, MD, MA, FAAP


Contact Information

Office of the President
(409) 772-1902 
(409) 772-5064 fax

Suite 6.100 Administration Bldg.
301 University Blvd.
Galveston, Texas 77555-0129

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