President’s Cabinet Awards 

For more than 30 years, the President's Cabinet has provided a vehicle for UTMB and the community to work together to support these promising initiatives to improve health and well-being.


Download application here.
Proposals must be received by 4:30 PM, Friday, May 10, 2024.

For more information all 409-772-5151 or email

  • Students Educating Students: K-12 Activities for Public Health and Pandemic Preparedness

    Cara Pennel, DrPH, MPH
    Science Education

    A recent survey administered by the UTMB Office of Educational Outreach to area students in grades 6-12 revealed a lack of age-appropriate information regarding COVID-19 and ways to stay safe. To help address this need, UTMB Graduate School of Biomedical Research students will design public health and basic science materials and activities that are scientifically accurate and age-appropriate for elementary, middle, and high school levels. A series of free professional development workshops will be held to recruit Galveston County teachers, provide training, and obtain educator feedback. Teachers who implement the materials will be given a small stipend and all necessary supplies and provisions, including pre-post tests to determine student comprehension.

  • Students Together for Service

    Rimma Osipov
    Christine Horstmeyer
    School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Health Professions and Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

    Lack of coordination between student-led patient care initiatives can cause patients to be lost to follow-up and therefore decrease service effectiveness. Students Together for Service will establish a coordinating board for the UTMB student service organizations and integrate the work of St. Vincent’s Clinic, Frontera de Salud, S.I.G.H.T. and the student service associations of the School of Medicine, School of Nursing, School of Health Professions and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. This consolidated effort will avoid redundancy of services, bring greater efficiency to the allocation of materials and volunteers and enrich educational opportunities for students from all four schools.

  • The BAMBI/School of Nursing Collaborative Project

    Jaquelyn Svoboda
    School of Nursing

    The Baby and Mother Bonding Initiative (BAMBI) at UTMB offers pregnant offenders the opportunity to live with their babies after delivery, rather than sending them away to family or foster care. Typically, mothers in this program have had inadequate breastfeeding education and resources and therefore have low rates of breastfeeding. This School of Nursing initiative seeks to improve maternal bonding through student-led educational sessions that will improve the offender mother’s knowledge of prenatal health and infant care. Nursing students will be paired with mothers to provide support during labor, delivery and postpartum and assist with the facilitation of bonding and breastfeeding.

  • The Care Closet

    Rebecca Castro, LCSW
    Savannah Parks, MEd, LBSW
    Health Resource Center

    Unexpected health crises often mean patients and their families are unprepared for hospital stays, and many find themselves in need of food, clothing, personal hygiene products and laundry services.  Through the creation of The Care Closet at the John Sealy Annex, patients will have access to such items and will be provided with information and referrals to community resources.  Two adjoining rooms will be dedicated within the hospital for laundry services and food storage.  The project will be sustained through partnerships with the Galveston County Food Bank and the Salvation Army of Galveston County.

  • The CHFC3 Project: Development of a Comprehensive Care Clinic for Heart Failure

    John W. Davis, MS2 Student
    Loree Pryor, OTD, OTR
    Internal Medicine / PMPH / Occupational Therapy

    To better educate uninsured patients about heart failure (HF), its complications and how best to manage the condition, this project will support the infrastructure of a comprehensive care clinic at St. Vincent’s House Clinic in Galveston. Post-discharge HF patients will be provided bi-weekly interprofessional services (medical, respiratory, nutrition, occupational therapy, etc.) by supervised UTMB students who will also monitor vitals, confirm medication adherence, discuss diet, and engage in supervised exercise. This project provides comprehensive care for heart failure patients as well as substantive practice experience for students across multiple education programs.


  • The Gift of Life: Building & Sustaining Capacity for Eye Care at St. Vincent's House

    Mona Singh, MD, MPA, PGY4
    Lance Lyons, MD, PGY3
    Jed Assam, MD, PGY2
    Misha Syed, MD, MEHP
    Mary Schmitz Brown
    Ophthalmology and Visual Science

    Building on the success of a 2011 President's Cabinet Award that provided hundreds of patients in the greater Galveston area with sight-saving diabetic retinopathy treatment and follow-up exams, this new award will expand vision services to a large economically disadvantaged population that depend upon the St. Vincent's Eye Clinic for their complete eye care. Award funds will be used to upgrade and purchase new equipment, broaden services, supply patients with quality eyeglass prescriptions, provide testing modalities and treatment avenues for patients with glaucoma and develop charity cataract surgery services.


  • The Long Journey Home – Caring for Loved Ones with Dementia/Alzheimer's – Bringing the Message Home

    Oma Morey, PhD
    Office of Educational Development

    Without a cure or prevention, it is estimated over 14 million Americans will be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease by 2050. To increase the awareness about the trials and tribulations of caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer's, this project weaves the personal stories of several caregivers into a theatrical production to humanize their feelings of guilt, frustration, anger and angst. In addition to eight community presentations, a DVD and teaching guide will be developed for use by other health care and community organizations.

  • The Mother and Babies Course

    Souby George, MSN, RNC-MNN, CKC
    Sara Nowakowski, PhD, CBMS
    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    In an effort to provide mental health treatment for new mothers who may be experiencing perinatal depression, the Mother and Babies Course will launch a new clinical service within UTMB's pediatric clinics.  This course will be facilitated by psychologists, nurses and lactation consultants trained to address issues surrounding motherhood.  President's Cabinet funds will be used to purchase instructor manuals, equipment, supplies and marketing materials.

  • The Rx for Prescription Costs

    Rebecca T. Walsdorf
    Ted Hanley
    Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs

    While major pharmaceutical retailers have developed low-cost prescription programs for generic and common over-the-counter medications, it is difficult to determine which retailer offers the best price and which drugs are covered under what plan.  To help uninsured and under-insured patients find specific medications at the lowest possible cost, the Jesse Tree organization developed and piloted a database of best-price providers. Using this Best Cost Formulary database, the Jesse Tree was able to fill prescriptions or find less costly alternative medications for more than 100 people in a six-month period.   Due to its huge success, this collaboration with UTMB’s Office of Health Policy and Legislative Affairs will provide for updates to and maintenance of the database; develop training materials and expand access to prescription assistance; and create a prescription assistance fund for patients without financial means.

  • Training Students for a Future in Health Care

    Rebecca Trout Unbehagen
    Ashley Adair
    Strategic and Business Planning

    This project builds on an existing partnership between UTMB and the Friendswood Independent School District (FISD) and will support the education of high school students enrolled in a new dual-credit Emergency Medical Technician certification program at College of the Mainland. By purchasing an ambulance simulator, FISD health sciences students will be exposed to emergency medical concepts, procedures, and skills while developing their ability to communicate and work as a team in a medical crisis. The simulated ambulance will be equipped with flashing lights, life support and narcotics cabinets, attendant seat, oxygen outlet, IV hanger, disposable sharps container and an overhead camera system and monitor to allow instructor review and feedback.

  • Transitional Care Management Program for St. Vincent's Nurse Managed Clinic

    Dr. J. Michael Leger
    Dr. Maureen Biggs
    School of Nursing

    Transitional Care Management (TCM) programs have proven effective in bridging gaps across health care settings, particularly for patients deemed at high risk for poor medical outcomes. With an estimated 3,000 patients seeking medical treatment at the St. Vincent's House Nurse Manage Clinic annually, more than 17 percent of these patients are considered at-risk and often "fall through the cracks." To help with this problem, this project will provide for the services of a nurse transition care manager to facilitate a TCM program at St. Vincent's. The objective is to build a rapport with patients, provide disease-specific education to facilitate self-management, perform medication reconciliation, confirm follow-up appointments, and provide care management to support treatment.

  • UTMB Adolescent Weight Loss Program

    Dr. Kanika Bowen-Jallow

    Contributing factors of the growing adolescent obesity epidemic include biological, behavioral, cultural and sociopolitical aspects. While there are currently no pediatric clinics dedicated to the workup, management and implementation of a weight loss program for children (ages 12-17), this project proposes the establishment of a single location multidisciplinary clinic at UTMB where adolescents and their parents can meet with a nutritionist, pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric surgeon, and a personal fitness instructor. Participants will also receive consultations to psychiatry and pediatric endocrinology when necessary.

  • UTMB Care Closet Expansion

    Rebecca Castro, LCSW
    Savannah Parks, MEd, LBSW

    Care Management

    Building upon the success of a 2018 President’s Cabinet Award, this project seeks to establish similar Care Closest at UTMB’s Angleton-Danbury, League City and Clear Lake campuses. Patients and families experiencing unexpected and long hospital stays will have access to clean clothing, personal hygiene products and food. Dedicated spaces at each campus have been identified and will be sustained by clothing and food drives and partnerships with community agencies.

  • UTMB Food Pantry

    Semira K. Solomon, GSBS student (MPH Program)
    Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences / Preventive Medicine & Population Health

    A growing number of university’s in Texas are committed to fighting food insecurity because many students struggle academically, mentally, and emotionally due to their inability to afford sustainable meals. UTMB students experience the same issue as many do not have the ability to manage a job and attend school full time. To meet the needs of food insecurities for our students, this project will create a centrally located pantry at the Jamail Student Center on the Galveston campus. President’s Cabinet funds will be used to purchase refrigerators, a freezer, shelving, storage bins, a platform cart and cleaning supplies. Food will be supplied and delivered weekly through a partnership with the Galveston County Food Bank.
  • UTMB Galveston Chemical Incident Preparedness Initiative

    Philip Keiser, MD
    Mike Mastrangelo
    Institutional Preparedness

    The Galveston region plays a critical role in our national energy and chemical supply. Producing these chemicals is not without risk of industrial or transportation accidents. A lack of sufficient mobile air monitoring capability in Galveston County has been identified as a significant gap to preparedness and response to a dangerous chemical release. Response to chemical incidents is greatly facilitated by having good baseline environmental and health data. This award includes a pilot test to collect baseline and post-incident data. Biological samples and health data will be collected from children, adults and senior adults who reside in Texas City.  Surveys will also be administered to assess knowledge of community preparedness. The final project will result in a chemical incident preparedness and response plan that will serve as a model to other communities in our region and beyond.

  • UTMB League City Campus Patient Navigation and Health Resource Center

    Sylvia Campbell, RN, BSN
    Savannah Parks, MEd, LBSW
    Lauren Michelle Thierry, MHA
    Patient Navigation and Support

    Studies show that low income and elderly patients with complex life-altering health diagnoses often have trouble accessing adequate health care.  Some may lack transportation, are unfamiliar with the hospital system, lack insurance or are unable to afford medication.  Those barriers ultimately may lead to a poor quality of life and unfavorable health outcomes.  In an effort to improve hospital access, the UTMB League City Campus Patient Navigation and Health Resource Center will provide patient education, dedicated navigation team support, community outreach, enhanced communication and increased access to multidisciplinary care.

  • UTMB OR Recycling Program

    Jenny Pennycuff, MD
    Angela McDowell
    Jeff Cigelski, MD
    Department of Sustainability

    Currently, UTMB pays to dispose of Operating Room (OR) waste by weight. Decreasing the amount of waste through recycling can result in significant savings. This project will outfit 18 ORs at the Galveston campus with signage, stainless steel recycling bins and distinctive blue disposable liners. All plastics that do not have patient identifiers or have not touched a patient will be recycled. A series of educational sessions will be held to train faculty and staff on how to collect recyclable materials in the OR without disrupting work flow. The amount of recyclable waste to be collected through this program is approximately 200 pounds per month.

  • UTMB Post-Stroke Clinic

    Barbara M. Doucet, PhD
    Occupational Therapy

    Stoke continues to be one of the leading causes of serious, long-term disabilities in the United States.  Research shows that six months following the onset of a stroke, patients have typically completed rehabilitative services, are no longer eligible for continuation of services, or are out of the health care system altogether.  Under the direction of the UTMB Department of Occupational Therapy, occupational and physical therapy students will provide free, state-of-the art, evidence-based rehabilitation services to any person who has suffered a stroke.  This six-week program will not only serve as a teaching model for students, but will provide a much needed service to the community and promote the clinical excellence of UTMB.

  • UTMB Stroke Program Proposal - Advanced Stroke Life Support Classes

    Brenda Yanez, RN, BSN
    Julia Anderson, BSN, RN, CCRN
    Jennifer Higgs, MSN, RN, CEN
    Georgia Emily Motter, RN, BSN
    Briana Sowell, MSN, RN, CEN, TCRN
    Hospital Administration

    Since 2016, more than 100 nurses and emergency medical services (EMS) staff have attended the Advanced Stroke Life Support class.  UTMB is the first academic center in Texas to serve as a training site for this certification.  The university has noticed an increase in the number of stroke patients who are brought to the emergency department via EMS rather than a personal vehicle.  This might indicate an increased awareness that being transported by ambulance means quicker treatment for stroke patients.  Due to the program's success, President's Cabinet funds will support training for an additional instructor and educational materials to certify an additional 200 per-hospital and hospital providers.

  • UTMB Stroke Support Group

    Karen Chapman
    Marte Hersey
    Center for Audiology and Speech Pathology

    Research estimates that nearly 795,000 Americans will suffer from a stroke annually. While stroke is a leading cause of death, it is also the foremost cause of long-term disability. In an effort to provide stroke survivors and their caregivers a support mechanism and the ability to re-establish and promote independence, this project creates the UTMB Stroke Support Group. Participants will network at bi-monthly meetings and learn about stroke and stroke prevention, food and nutrition, hurricane preparedness, depression and much more. Free transportation will be provided for economically disadvantaged individuals.

Awards by Year