Select Page
Featured, from left:  The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Alumni Association on Friday, May 31, 2019, bestowed the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award upon the following leaders: Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD (’85); J. Gregory Stovall, MD (’78); Susan D. John, MD (’84); and Jack H. Henry, MD (’64). Not  appearing in this image, but also a recipient of the honor from the UTMB Alumni Association, is Bruce M. Bauknight, MD (’68).


Featured, from left: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston Alumni Association on Friday, May 31, 2019, bestowed the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award upon the following leaders: Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD (’85); J. Gregory Stovall, MD (’78); Susan D. John, MD (’84); and Jack H. Henry, MD (’64). Not appearing in this image, but also a recipient of the honor from the UTMB Alumni Association, is Bruce M. Bauknight, MD (’68).



Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD, Chairman, Board of Managers, DHR Health, recognized by University of Texas Medical Branch Alumni Association for his outstanding service to Texas


A visionary and true advocate of medicine and patient care throughout Texas, Carlos J. Cárdenas, MD, one of the leaders of DHR Health, has been honored with Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award by the School of Medicine Alumni Association at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Established in 1965, the ASDA Award is the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine Alumni Association. The award honors the memory of Dr. Ashbel Smith, who was the driving force behind establishing the University of Texas at Austin and a medical department in Galveston in 1891 that would later become UTMB.

On Friday, May 31, 2019, Cárdenas and four other alumni from UTMB were presented with the Ashbel Smith Award at a ceremony in Galveston.

Cárdenas acknowledged many of his fellow physicians and DHR Health for being “a source of inspiration for patient centered care that is managed by physicians.”

“In the summer of 1981, I joined the UTMB School of Medicine class of 1985, and obtained the knowledge and was inculcated in the principles and ethos that would define my professional life,” he said. “Physicians are the beacon of health in our communities. We stand up for the health of our community. Our job is to create a healthier community, a healthier environment for our children and our grandchildren to grow up in so we can stamp out suffering and disease.”

Cárdenas was one of the original physicians who formed Day Surgery at Renaissance, LLC in 1997.

He served as the interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Doctors Hospital at Renaissance from January 1 through December 31, 2013. Under his tenure, Day Surgery at Renaissance grew from an outpatient facility into a 530-bed general acute care hospital with 17 facilities, now named Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR) Health System.

In its current state, Doctors Hospital at Renaissance provides an excess of $1 billion in economic benefit and employs more than 4,700, and serves as the major teaching hospital for the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) School of Medicine.

As CEO, Cárdenas built on the strengths of the existing leadership and those who have helped establish Doctors Hospital at Renaissance as the local healthcare provider of choice. He ensured the hospital’s medical and fiscal excellence by directing the company’s affairs while adhering to the organization’s mission to always put the healthcare needs of patients first.

Cárdenas remains as Chairman of the Board and Chief Administrative Officer.

Cárdenas plays lead guitar with The Renaissance Rockers, a local rock and roll band fronted by physicians, who always rock for a “cure or cause” in the community. The Renaissance Rockers have helped raised in excess of $2 million dollars for local charities.

In addition to his expansive role at Doctors Hospital at Renaissance, Cárdenas served as President of the Hidalgo–Starr Medical Society in 2001, and was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Texas Medical Association in 2005.

In 2013, he was elected Chairman of the Board for the Texas Medical Association.

He was awarded “Man of the Year” by the McAllen Chamber of Commerce in 2013.

In 2016, he received The Distinguished Business Leader of the Year Award given by the Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship of the University of the Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The City of McAllen recognized Cárdenas for his commitment and involvement in the community with a proclamation in January 2017.

During the same year, in May, he received his installation as Texas Medical Associations (TMA’s) 152nd President.

In August of 2017, The State of Texas House of Representatives honored Cárdenas with a Resolution for his service as President of TMA.

Cárdenas received the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award by the Boy Scouts of America in November 2017. He also received the Easter Seals Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2018.

He and his wife, Linda Christine, have three children – Adam, Simon, and Daniel.

In addition to Cárdenas, the three other newly inducted awardees are:

Dr. Bruce Bauknight, Class of 1968

A second-generation UTMB graduate, Bauknight practiced general internal medicine, medical oncology, geriatrics, hospice, and palliative care in Victoria for 36 years. During his career, he served as chief of staff at two medical centers and was president of the Victoria Goliad Jackson Counties Medical Society and The Intercounty Clinical Society. He remains connected with UTMB through is role on the Development Board and the School of Medicine Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Bauknight and his wife, Vicki, also were instrumental in establishing the Bauknight Family Professorship in the department of internal medicine.

Dr. Jack H. Henry, Class of 1964

After graduation from UTMB, Henry completed a general surgery residency in Pennsylvania and an orthopaedic residency in New York before serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. During his time in the military, Henry studied sports medicine. He returned to Texas in 1972 and started his own orthopaedic practice in San Antonio where he also served as the team physician for the San Antonio Spurs for two decades. Considered the “Father of Sports Medicine” in San Antonio, Henry was inducted into the Alamo Area Athletic Trainers Association hall of fame.

Dr. Susan D. John, Class of 1984

John, an internationally known pediatric oncologist, completed a residency and fellowship at UTMB and then joined the faculty as an assistant professor where she worked until 1998. Later she served as chief of pediatric radiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In 2003, John was honored with fellowship in the American College of Radiology. Today she serves as professor and chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston and chief of staff at Memorial Hermann Hospital-TMC, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.

Dr. J. Gregory Stovall, Class of 1978

Stovall graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Austin and UTMB. He went on to practice internal medicine in Tyler and was co-founder of the Trinity Mother Francis Health System, where he served as senior vice president for 20 years. Stovall is credited with creating and leading multiple strategies to enhance physician and mid-level provider retention that resulted in Trinity Clinic having the highest retention rates among large health systems. Stovall is a certified diplomat with the American Board of Internal Medicine.

About University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

According to its website:

For more than 125 years, UTMB has stood with Texas—training the health care workforce; helping make the state a leader in advancing the understanding and treatment of illness and injury; serving as a major provider of health care for Texans and their families; and innovating the future of how care is delivered.

UTMB opened in 1891 as the nation’s first public medical school and hospital under unified leadership—already a pioneer. What began as one hospital and medical school building in Galveston is now a major academic health sciences center of global influence, with medical, nursing, health professions and graduate biomedical schools; a world-renowned research enterprise; and a growing, comprehensive health system with hospitals on four campuses and a network of clinics.

Today, UTMB has a $3.3 billion annual statewide economic impact, in terms of business volume, personal income and durable goods purchases. More than 46,000 jobs in Texas are directly or indirectly attributed to UTMB.

UTMB includes schools of Medicine, Nursing, Health Professions and Graduate Biomedical Sciences; four institutes for advanced study; a major medical library; a network of hospitals and clinics that provide a full range of primary and specialized medical care; and numerous research facilities. UTMB is a part of The University of Texas System and a member of the Texas Medical Center.


Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, on Friday, June 28, 2019, was appointed Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Redistricting, the legislative panel that will draw state legislative and congressional districts in the upcoming 87th Texas Legislature, which begins its 140-day regular session in January 2021.

Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville, also was named to serve on the legislative panel.

The appointments of the two Valley senators, along with the 15 other senators on the Senate Committee on Redistricting, were made by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, R-Houston.

Hinojosa was previously appointed to the Senate Committee on Redistricting by then-Lt. Gov David Dewhurst following the 2010 U.S. Census.

“I am honored to be appointed Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Redistricting,” said Hinojosa. “This is a great responsibility that requires objectivity and bipartisan cooperation. I will seek to draw fair legislative and congressional districts that truly represent the interests of our communities and accurately reflect our growing population. We must ensure that the voices of all Texans may be heard.”

Redistricting is the process by which the geographical divisions of the state into congressional, state representative, state senator, and State Board of Education electoral districts are periodically revised. District boundaries are redrawn every 10 years following the publication of the U.S. Census to maintain approximately equal populations across all electoral districts in the state.

The upcoming U.S. Census will take place in 2020.

Some redistricting experts predict Texas will gain three congressional seats during this census cycle, said Hinojosa. With Texas consistently ranked as one of the fastest growing states in the country, redistricting is necessary to ensure that districts are properly apportioned and Texans have equal representation.

Members of the Senate committee appointed by Patrick are:

Sen. Joan Huffman, R-Houston, Chair;
Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, Vice-Chair;
Sen. Carol Alvarado, D-Houston;
Sen. Paul Bettencourt, R-Houston;
Sen. Dawn Buckingham, R-Lakeway;
Sen. Donna Campbell, R-New Braunfels;
Sen. Pete Flores, R-Pleasanton;
Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills;
Sen. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola;
Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., D-Brownsville;
Sen. Jose Menendez, D-San Antonio;
Sen. Robert Nichols, R-Jacksonville;
Sen. Angela Paxton, R-McKinney;
Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock;
Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin;
Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas; and
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

“This critical committee is bipartisan and includes senators from every region of our state,” Patrick said. “Sen. Huffman is an exceptional and trusted leader in the Texas Senate and I am confident she and this committee will do the hard work that needs to be done to successfully complete the senate redistricting process in our rapidly growing state.”


Kurt E. Koopmann, Paul Townsend, and David A. Díaz contributed to this article. For more on this and other Texas legislative news stories which affect the Rio Grande Valley metropolitan region, please log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature(

Titans of the Texas Legislature