We recommit daily to our values of diversity, equity and inclusion

Dear UT Health San Antonio community:

Last week, Dr. John Calhoon, Chair of the Department of Thoracic Surgery, delivered an address to the annual meeting of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) in San Diego. Some portion of Dr. Calhoon’s remarks related to diversity and upset a number of attendees. Following this, Dr. Calhoon sent an apology to the STS, shared below. Thus far, the STS has not posted Dr. Calhoon’s apology.

“I recently delivered an address to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons at its annual meeting. My comments focused on my personal journey through CT surgery and highlighted education, the need for long-term data and ongoing social challenges. In my effort to convey some points, the right context was not achieved. My message delivery was imperfect and resulted in a completely unintentional, hurtful impact. I apologize to my colleagues and to my professional organization. I believe in, and am committed to, the values of advancing equity, inclusion and the full range of human diversity. I have felt equity and inclusion are the absolute best way to achieve further diversity.”

This situation provides an opportunity for us to affirm our institution’s abiding commitment to diversity at all levels of our organization. Our rich cultural history in San Antonio and South Texas has inspired much progress in diversity and inclusion as it has deepened our resolve to serve all patients, faculty, students and staff with respect and care. These values are held closely by us and are set forth on our website.

A moment like this teaches us that progress in diversity always requires a constant and intentional commitment. This truth and the roadmap to future progress is perhaps best captured in a famous quotation from Maya Angelou. She said, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.”


With great respect,

William L. Henrich, MD, MACP

President and Professor of Medicine

Share This Article!