DALLAS, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- UT Southwestern Medical Center will name its new state-of-the-art University Hospital, now under construction, to honor legendary Texas Gov. William P. Clements Jr., in recognition of his 2009 gift of $100 million to the Southwestern Medical Foundation, the largest single gift for the benefit of UT Southwestern in the institution's history.
The William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital is now scheduled to open in late 2014, and, along with Zale Lipshy University Hospital, will offer patients and medical personnel world-class facilities and technologies. In addition to outstanding patient care, the new hospital has been planned to support UT Southwestern's commitment to clinical and translational research, as well as education and training, reflecting all three of the medical center's core missions.
"Governor Clements' only instruction when he made this remarkable gift more than two years ago was that it be used for something that would have a transformational impact on UT Southwestern," said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. "We were deeply honored by his confidence and are now pleased and proud to name our new hospital in commemoration of a true Texas giant, certain that it will have the transformational effect he envisioned."
In addition to Mr. Clements' gift, the Building the Future of Medicine campaign for the new University Hospital has received 30 additional gifts to date, totaling $73 million. Dr. Podolsky and Campaign Chairman William T. Solomon jointly announced that the success of the campaign is so encouraging that the fundraising goal has been increased from $200 million to $250 million, which will allow for additional investment in the programs, as well as the facilities, of the new hospital.
Mr. Clements said at the time of his 2009 gift that his goal in supporting UT Southwestern was to "help encourage and advance scientific discovery and innovation, prepare the next generation of physicians for Texas and the nation, and ensure the delivery of world-class medical care, which I believe uniquely happens at this academic medical center, already recognized as one of the top institutions in this country."
Nancy Seay, Mr. Clements' daughter, said, "Our family is pleased that my father's name will be associated with UT Southwestern in a hospital that will foster the spirit of discovery and the pursuit of excellence that he embodied throughout his life. We are enormously pleased to have his name on this facility and are grateful for this honor."
Mr. Solomon, chairman of the board of Southwestern Medical Foundation, said, "Bill enjoyed enormous success in business and in service to his state and his country. But he always said he took greater pride in giving away the fruits of his success to the causes, places and people in which he believed. The governor felt that through UT Southwestern he could make a difference by helping people everywhere."
The William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital will replace the St. Paul University Hospital facility, which opened in 1963. Located at 6201 Harry Hines Blvd., the new $800 million, 460-bed hospital was meticulously designed to carry out UT Southwestern's patient-care mission, while also incorporating space for physician training and for clinical research aimed at developing ever more effective, high-quality treatments for patients.
Mr. Clements was an immensely successful oilman who died in May 2011. In 1947, he founded the Southeastern Drilling Co., which later became known as SEDCO, and grew it into the world's largest oil and gas drilling contracting firm.
After building a thriving company, Mr. Clements became an advisor to presidents. An energetic man known for his blunt talk and decisive leadership, Mr. Clements served as deputy defense secretary from 1973 to 1977 under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He is credited with helping modernize U.S. military forces and instilling sound business practices and efficiencies in the defense department.
Mr. Clements made more history in 1979, becoming Texas' first Republican governor since Reconstruction. He served two terms as Texas governor, from 1979 to 1983 and from 1987 to 1991, making him the longest-serving governor in state history at the time.
Through the years, Mr. Clements maintained a lifelong relationship with UT Southwestern. He served on the search committee that convinced the first president of UT Southwestern, the late Dr. Charles C. Sprague, to come to Dallas in 1967 from Tulane University School of Medicine to be dean of UT Southwestern Medical School. The two had been chemistry classmates at Southern Methodist University.
In 1998, he donated $1.25 million to establish the Rita C. and William P. Clements Jr. Scholar in Medical Research Fund to provide research funding to attract some of the nation's most promising early-career scientists. In 2000, Mr. Clements and his wife, Rita, a former UT System Regent, were honored with Southwestern Medical Foundation's Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award, which recognizes those who provide significant support to the fields of health care, medical education and medical research.
His generosity continued with a $10 million donation in 2006 to complete a clinical and medical research facility now named the Bill and Rita Clements Advanced Medical Imaging Building. His $100 million gift in 2009 remains the largest one-time commitment in UT Southwestern's history.
The William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital's design is the product of input from more than 600 members of the campus community, as well as from patients and their families. It also reflects a comprehensive survey of best practices in patient care and treatment delivery around the country and incorporates a number of new technologies to enhance patients' experience and optimize clinical outcomes.
Every patient room will feature monitors and internet connections to allow patients and caregivers to review charts and images like X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. The technology even will allow family members and physicians from outside the hospital to interact and be part of care decisions.
The 27 surgical suites will be connected by live video to the pathology lab. This will allow surgeons and pathologists to view and discuss tissue specimens while a procedure still is under way.
The new hospital will have on-call rooms and facilities for physicians so they can access computers between surgeries or clinic visits without traveling across campus. It also will feature a large education center and dedicated conference rooms on each patient floor to facilitate training and care-team consultation away from patient rooms and hallways, thus ensuring greater patient privacy.
Visit http://newhospital.utsouthwestern.edu/index.html to learn more about UT Southwestern's William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital.
SOURCE UT Southwestern Medical Center