Dr. Cigarroa honored by Business Journal as Legacy Leader

Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.

Former UT Health San Antonio president and former UT System chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., is among the recipients of the San Antonio Business Journal’s 2018 Legacy Leaders Award.

The annual awards, according to the Business Journal, “celebrate people who have proven themselves in the business world over a lifetime while proving themselves invaluable to our community.”

Dr. Cigarroa, a renowned pediatric transplant surgeon at UT Health San Antonio, has a remarkable record of service to medicine and to Texas.

“Dr. Cigarroa has been a tremendous advocate for higher education, health care and research not only in San Antonio, but in South Texas and throughout our state,” said William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, UT Health San Antonio president.

Moreover, said Dr. Henrich, “Dr. Cigarroa loves South Texas and carries his family, friends and the community in his heart.

“You can’t not like Francisco Cigarroa,” Dr. Henrich said. “He’s so personable and kind. But more than that, he’s continually challenged to do his best, partly because of the way he was raised, but also because he has a personal commitment to perform at the highest level.”

A native of Laredo, Texas, Dr. Cigarroa earned a B.S. in biology at Yale College and an M.D. with highest honors at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas in 1983. During his 12 years of postgraduate training, he was chief resident at Harvard’s teaching hospital, Massachusetts General in Boston, and completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore in both pediatric surgery and transplantation surgery.

He joined the faculty of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in 1995 and was appointed its third president in October 2000, serving in that role until he became chancellor of the UT System in 2009. He was the first Hispanic to head a major public university system in the United States.

In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed Dr. Cigarroa to serve on the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. In 2011, President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Cigarroa to serve on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans.

He is also the recipient of the Heart of Gold Award given by the American Heart Association and was named among the Top 25 Latinos in Education by the National Magazine of the American Latino.

The Legacy Leaders awards luncheon is March 7 at the Pearl Stables.

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