Lacie and Joe Gorder to be honored at President’s Gala

Proceeds to establish Gorder Endowment in Heart Disease Research

Evie Winkler was 1 week old when she underwent her first open-heart surgery. Before birth, Evie was diagnosed with only one ventricle in her heart, and her parents, Jennie and Zack Winkler of Midland, weighed the alternatives. After visiting multiple locations for care and speaking to numerous skilled physicians during the pregnancy, they chose to entrust Evie’s life to the expert hands of S. Adil Husain, M.D., pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon at The University of Texas Health Science Center, now called UT Health San Antonio.

Evie was born Oct. 11, 2016 at UT Health’s clinical partner and teaching facility, University Hospital. The first of multiple surgeries to repair her heart took place Oct. 18, 2016.

This week the Winkler family, including Evie, is traveling to San Antonio for a joyful reunion with Dr. Husain, professor and chief of the Division of Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery at UT Health. The family will be honored guests at the 2017 President’s Gala of UT Health San Antonio hosted by President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. The President’s Gala is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, 600 E. Market.

Each year the President’s Gala raises more than $500,000 to support clinical, research and education programs of the university. Past galas have established funds to support programs in multiple areas, including trauma care, cancer care and research, and, in 2016, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

This year, the proceeds will establish the Lacie and Joe Gorder President’s Endowment in Heart Disease Research. Mr. Gorder is chairman, president and CEO of Valero Energy Corp. He and Mrs. Gorder are interested in helping children born with heart defects. Honorary chairs of the President’s Gala are Bill and Margie Klesse. Mr. Klesse is the former chairman, president and CEO of Valero Energy Corp.

(Media are invited to interview President Henrich, Mr. and Mrs. Gorder, Dr. Husain and the Winkler family at the reception between 6:15 and 7:15 p.m.)

“Our 2017 President’s Gala is an Evening of Passion, Purpose and Promise,” President Henrich said. “We are pleased to honor the Gorders by establishing this important endowment, which will support heart disease research programs at the university in perpetuity with the promise of benefiting both children and adults.”

The Gorder President’s Endowment will help to find new therapies and cures, shape prevention protocols and ensure access to cutting-edge health care that benefits patients across the life span. UT Health San Antonio’s cadre of adult and pediatric cardiovascular disease physicians are experienced experts in treating the most-complex cases, and are a crucial resource for referrals from San Antonio, South Texas and beyond.

Heart disease remains the No. 1 killer of adults in Texas, and each year nearly 4,000 Texas children are born with a congenital heart defect.

“While the impact of heart disease is staggering, advances in research are improving the prevention, early detection and treatment of heart disease in adults and helping more infants with congenital heart disease, like Evie, to survive to adulthood,” President Henrich said.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, with missions of teaching, research and healing, is one of the country’s leading health sciences universities and is now called UT Health San Antonio™. UT Health’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced more than 33,000 alumni who are advancing their fields throughout the world. With seven campuses in San Antonio and Laredo, UT Health San Antonio has a FY 2018 revenue operating budget of $838.4 million and is the primary driver of its community’s $37 billion biomedical and health care industry. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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