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Stars & Stripes Soirée
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President’s Gala Honors Military Community

By Jason Grosgrain   Photography by Greg Harrison

THE SCENE: More than 1,100 glittery gowned women, men in tuxedos and leaders of our military in dress uniforms and regalia attended the 9th Annual President’s Ball honoring the UT Health Science Center’s dedication to military healthcare initiatives. The crowd mingled over pre-gala cocktails and then entered a dinner club ambience that gave a nod towards patriotism with marine-blue sequined tablecloths and lily and rose centerpieces. The head table lined the middle of the room, and guests were greeted by a full video wall of star spangled banners and video stories by staff, faculty and members of active duty, reserves, and retired military. The evening was dedicated to honoring the stories of dedication, commitment and the honor of serving in the military and the honor of serving patients.

THE VIBE: Honoring Major General Joe (USA Ret.) and Patty Robles, Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, MD acknowledged the Robles’ service to the nation, San Antonio’s military community and USAA – Gen. Robles served USAA as president and CEO from 2007 until his retirement in 2015. Emphasizing the Health Science Center’s dedication to improving the health and well-being of military personnel, veterans and families, President Heinrich announced that gala proceeds will establish the Joe and Patty Robles Chair, dedicated to support innovative medical research, health education and clinical care that enhances and nurtures military collaborations.

A video featuring community leader Marty Wender illustrated the impact of the partnership between the Health Science Center and the U.S. Army Institute for Surgical Research. Wender, who sustained life-threatening injuries in an accident, thanked his medical providers for their life-saving intervention. In 2014, the Health Science Center formalized its decades-long relationship with the military by establishing the Military Health Institute.

THE CAUSE: Chancellor Bill and Georgeanne McRaven were the honorary chairs. According to its vision statement, the Military Health Institute will be the nation’s leader in health-related academic collaborations that improve the health and resiliency of the nation’s military service members, veterans and their families. Proceeds from the gala will establish an endowment in honor of Joe and Patty Robles for the Health Science Center’s Military Health Institute, which will benefit the institute in perpetuity.

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