SAN ANTONIO (July 16, 2008)—Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst visited The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio today to celebrate the appointment of South Texas media consultant Lionel Sosa to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas Oversight Committee.
The Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon for more than 100 community leaders with the lieutenant governor and Sosa at the UT Health Science Center Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute (CCRI), which is one of the university’s newest and most state-of-the-art research facilities.
The Oversight Committee is the 11-member panel that will oversee allocation of up to $3 billion in state general revenue bonds for cancer research, prevention, early detection and control programs. Texas voters authorized the spending of these monies under Proposition 15 in last November’s election. The Oversight Committee met for the first time in late June.
Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst said Sosa’s drive to see cancer eradicated matches that of San Antonio researchers at the Greehey CCRI and the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC) at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio. He said thousands of patients affected by cancer in South Texas now have an impassioned advocate in Sosa.
Sosa is one of Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst’s three appointees to the Oversight Committee. Gov. Rick Perry also made three appointments, as did House Speaker Tom Craddick. Attorney General Greg Abbott and Comptroller Susan Combs round out the panel.
“The Oversight Committee is a panel of brilliant minds dedicated to the best outcomes for all Texans who face the myriad diseases known collectively as cancer,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., president of the UT Health Science Center. “We are grateful to Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst for appointing Lionel Sosa, who cares deeply about the people of San Antonio and South Texas and who will join the other members in pouring out their best efforts for cancer research, prevention and control throughout our state.”
John T. Montford, chairman of the UT Health Science Center Development Board and president-Western Region with AT&T, thanked Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst for his dedication to Texans with cancer.
Prior to the luncheon, the lieutenant governor and Sosa toured the CTRC, one of a few elite cancer centers to be named a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Cancer Center. The CTRC is one of only three Texas cancer centers with an NCI designation.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the leading research institution in South Texas and one of the major health sciences universities in the world. With an operating budget of $576 million, the Health Science Center is the chief catalyst for the $15.3 billion biosciences and health care sector in San Antonio’s economy. The Health Science Center has had an estimated $35 billion impact on the region since inception and has expanded to six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. More than 23,000 graduates (physicians, dentists, nurses, scientists and allied health professionals) serve in their fields, including many in Texas. Health Science Center faculty are international leaders in cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, aging, stroke prevention, kidney disease, orthopaedics, research imaging, transplant surgery, psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, pain management, genetics, nursing, allied health, dentistry and many other fields. For more information, visit www.uthscsa.edu.