What do a medical student, biomedical sciences graduate and a lieutenant in the UTMB Police Department have in common? 
They, along with nine UTMB faculty and staff, are the recipients of the 2012 President’s Cabinet award. This year’s awards will support exceptional programs and cutting-edge research throughout the community and beyond including a public vaccine education campaign, a stroke support group and a sleep apnea program for uninsured or economically disadvantaged patients that provides equipment and supplies to treat the disorder. 
The cabinet’s more than 350 members include community and business leaders from the Houston-Galveston area, UTMB faculty and staff, and alumni from across the state and nation. Through their gifts to the university, President’s Cabinet awards provide seed money to launch initiatives designed to improve the quality of life.
Annual contributions from President’s Cabinet members are pooled to make the awards possible. Members have contributed more than $5 million since 1993. More than 90 awards have been given to innovative community programs during the last 18 years. This year's awards totaled more than $177,000.
How are the awards determined?
Awards are determined by a committee of members who make recommendations to the university president. The benefits of these awards resonate across the campus, throughout the community and beyond.
How can you participate?
Junior memberships (age 40 and under) are available starting at $500, with regular memberships ranging from $1,000 to $2,500. Corporate memberships are also available starting at $5,000. Membership continues for one year from the date of your gift and may be renewed indefinitely. Payroll deduction is available for all UTMB employees.
Visit the website for more information about the President’s Cabinet or how to join.
Congratulations to the 2012 recipients:
Lt. Ryan Erwin
“Response to Deadly Behavior ALERRT
(Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training)”
To prepare for active shooting incidents, this project will strengthen the training and communication between police officers with the UTMB Police Department, the Galveston Police Department, the Port of Galveston Police Department, the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office and the University of Houston-Clear Lake Police Department. Special simulation equipment will be ordered to provide more realistic training scenarios, and quarterly sessions will be held among the participating law enforcement agencies.
Carolyn Nelson-Becker
“Growing Healthy Families in Galveston through Continuing Education for Community Health Workers”
In 2011 1,308 premature babies were born at UTMB. When these infants go home, the stresses they and their families experienced in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit can have lingering effects. This program will train community health workers, who among other important tasks, will facilitate communication between the family and NICU health care faculty and staff and instruct family members on the care of fragile babies once they are able to go home. Upon completing their training, these community health workers will be integrated into UTMB’s Regional Maternal and Child Health Program and nurseries.
Karen Chapman
Marte Hersey
“UTMB Stroke Support Group”
Research estimates indicate that nearly 795,000 U.S. citizens suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is not only a leading cause of death but also the main cause of long-term disability. This project establishes the UTMB Stroke Support Group to offer stroke survivors and their caregivers encouragement and the ability to re-establish and promote independence. Participants will meet bi-monthly and learn about various topics, including stroke and its prevention, food and nutrition, depression and hurricane preparedness. Free transportation will be provided for economically-disadvantaged people.
Cara Geary
Rev. Kathy Ozenberger
Eva Blight
“Perinatal Hospice at UTMB”
The Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care Program was established two years ago to serve as a support system for parents of terminally ill infants. President’s Cabinet funds will expand this program to 14 obstetric clinics, the emergency department and the inpatient obstetric department. The central elements of this project include staff education, family counseling, community support groups and special care packages for mothers and families.
Richard Rupp
Bridget Hawkins
“Public Vaccine Education Campaign: Enhancing Our Community’s Understanding of the Importance of Vaccines and the Diseases They Prevent”
Anti-vaccination campaigns and misinformation about the safety and efficacy of vaccines have led to a decline in immunization rates in many states during the last five years. To increase immunization rates in Galveston County, an educational campaign will be started that features podcasts, newspaper and magazine articles, videos, a public website and a customized Facebook page. Community presentations and interactive quiz and advertisement slides will be displayed before movie previews at local cinemas to reach a larger, more diverse audience.
Rimma Osipov, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Student
Christine Horstmeyer, School of Medicine Student
“Students Together for Service”
Lack of coordination between student-led patient care initiatives can lead to patients not receiving follow-up treatment. This program will establish a coordinating board for UTMB student service organizations and integrate the work of St. Vincent’s Clinic, Frontera de Salud, S.I.G.H.T. and the student service associations of the schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate Biomedical Sciences. This consolidated effort will eliminate service redundancy, improve efficiency for the allocation of materials and volunteers and enrich educational opportunities for UTMB students.
Margaret Resto
“Sleep Apnea at the St. Vincent’s Nurse-Managed Health Clinic”
Although most St. Vincent’s patients qualify for free or discounted sleep apnea evaluations, they cannot afford the equipment and supplies needed to treat the disorder. This project will identify uninsured or economically-disadvantaged patients diagnosed with sleep apnea and provide them continuous positive airway pressure machines and related supplies. Nurse managers will conduct home visits to set up and demonstrate how to operate the equipment. The patients will be monitored and evaluated regularly to measure outcomes.