The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio announces the passing of William L. Henrich, MD, president since 2009

William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP
William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP

Contact Monica Taylor, 210-450-8970,

SAN ANTONIO, March 14, 2024 — It is with profound sadness that The University of Texas of Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio) announces that William L. Henrich, MD, MACP, president of UT Health San Antonio, passed away this morning, March 14, 2024. There will be announcements about Dr. Henrich’s memorial services soon.

The beloved Dr. Henrich served as president of the university from 2009 to 2024. In his 15 years as president, Dr. Henrich transformed UT Health San Antonio into a top-ranked academic health center, with world-class programs in cancer, obesity and diabetes, dementia and aging.

He died from unexpected complications of his second stem cell transplantation at the age of 77. UT Health San Antonio shared the news in February that Dr. Henrich would be receiving this medical treatment. Twelve years ago, Dr. Henrich underwent a successful stem-cell transplant using his son’s stem cells. Dr. Henrich was able to return as president in February 2013 and presided over the unprecedented growth experienced by UT Health San Antonio. He personally saw the results of biomedical research and the impact it had on him, his family and all those who loved and cared for him.

Dr. Henrich is survived by his wife, Mary, their two children and their five grandchildren. He resided in San Antonio, Texas.

“Today, we mourn the loss of a beloved leader whose compassion and dedication to serving others inspired us all,” said Acting President Robert A. Hromas, MD, FACP. “Bill’s legacy of selflessness will continue to guide and uplift us in the days ahead as we work to build on his unyielding commitment to serve others and for the good of our community.”

Dr. Henrich presided over the greatest period of expansion in UT Health San Antonio’s 65-year history, accentuated by $1 billion in ongoing transformational construction projects that will change the city’s health care and biomedical research landscape. These include the UT Health San Antonio Multispecialty and Research Hospital, the Center for Brain Health and UT Health at Kyle Seale Parkway, projects expected to come online this year and next.

A board-certified nephrologist, Dr. Henrich was the author of the most widely used dialysis textbook in the world. Henrich served as dean of the health science center’s Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine from 2006 until 2009, when The University of Texas System Board of Regents appointed him president.

“The sorrow so many of us feel over the loss of a good friend, generous colleague, and leader is comforted only by the love and gratitude we all have had for Bill Henrich and the extraordinary ways he touched so many lives,” UT System Chancellor James B. Milliken said. “His integrity, energy, intelligence, humor and compassion made him one of the finest leaders I have known. I learned from him constantly, and I’m grateful for his friendship over the years. The UT System and the state of Texas are so fortunate to have had Bill Henrich share his many talents and enrich our institutions and lives.”

Dr. Henrich’s leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated his commitment to bringing high-quality health care across our region. He consistently led the charge to augment the institution’s clinical practices, all the while putting patients first. UT Health San Antonio’s multispecialty practices are growing exponentially, providing greater access to expert health care for the city and region. The practice is South Texas’ largest with more than 1,400 providers in more than 120 specialties and subspecialties with nearly 2.6 million patient visits per year in almost 30 locations.

”Beginning with the opening of the Medical Arts and Research Center (MARC), there have been a series of substantial and enduring improvements that have transformed the practice,” said Francisco Cigarroa, MD, director of the Malú and Carlos Alvarez Center for Transplantation, Hepatobiliary Surgery and Innovation at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “These changes have been led by the foresight, wisdom and collaborative nature of Bill Henrich. And even more importantly, he excelled in the mission of humanity. He made our health science center better and, in doing so, improved the quality of life for all citizens.”

Meanwhile, UT Health San Antonio is the largest academic research institution in South Texas and is a primary driver for San Antonio’s $44.1 billion health care and biosciences sector. The institution’s expense budget has more than doubled during the Henrich presidency, from $668 million in 2009 to $1.46 billion today. Revenues have risen accordingly, and under Dr. Henrich’s keen leadership, UT Health San Antonio has maintained sound financial integrity while investing in planned growth and infrastructure to carry out the organization’s core missions and serve communities.

UT Health San Antonio’s annual portfolio of sponsored program awards and research activity is on a rapid upward trajectory of $413 million today. This record amount was double the $194.5 million in sponsored program funding recorded in fiscal 2016. The unprecedented growth is expected to continue with sponsored programs projected to reach $600 million in fiscal 2028. UT Health San Antonio is the only academic health center in the U.S. with these five NIH prestigious centers: an NCI-designated cancer center, the Mays Cancer Center; an NIA-funded Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Glenn Biggs Institute for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases; NIA-funded Nathan Shock and Claude Pepper Centers at the Barshop Institute for Aging and Longevity Studies; and an NCATS-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award at the Institute for the Integration of Medicine and Science.

Driving substantial economic impact with its six professional schools, UT Health San Antonio now has a diverse workforce of more than 8,500. This is expected to increase by 1,500 over the next five years as the institution adds personnel for the multispecialty and research hospital and other new clinical and research programs and buildings.

The educational mission, so vital in training tomorrow’s health care providers and researchers, is flourishing. Under Dr. Henrich’s leadership, the health science center’s student body across five schools — nursing, dentistry, medicine, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences — grew to total enrollment of more than 3,600. Each of these schools are recognized in the top national rankings in their respective disciplines reflecting the academic excellence championed by Dr. Henrich. Fulfilling his long-standing dream of improving the public health of the community, The University of Texas School of Public Health San Antonio, the institution’s newest school, has been initiated in collaboration with The University of Texas at San Antonio.

Speaking in April 2023, he described the uniqueness and mission of the health science center.

“There are so many barriers to success, uncertainties such as pandemics, and diseases that are impossible for families to bear,” Dr. Henrich said. “How does UT Health San Antonio answer? Our mission is to make lives better. That mission compels us to not allow ourselves to get fatigued, because what’s at stake is a human life. Many human lives. That’s why what we do comes from our hearts. That’s why we can’t allow ourselves to quit. If not us, then who will do it? People are depending on us.”


The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UT Health San Antonio), a primary driver of San Antonio’s $44.1 billion health care and biosciences sector, is the largest academic research institution in South Texas with an annual research portfolio of $413 million. Driving substantial economic impact with its six professional schools, a diverse workforce of more than 8,500, an annual expense budget of $1.46 billion and clinical practices that provide 2.6 million patient visits each year, UT Health San Antonio plans to add more than 1,500 higher-wage jobs over the next five years to serve San Antonio, Bexar County and South Texas. To learn about the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit

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