Phyllis and Ron Steinhart support patient care advancements through their planned gift to Southwestern Medical Foundation.
Phyllis and Ron Steinhart

Phyllis and Ron Steinhart share a true joy of giving, priding themselves on supporting philanthropic causes fueled by their passions. As longtime friends of Southwestern Medical Foundation, they are thrilled that their latest donation to support UT Southwestern’s best-in-class William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital will create life-saving patient care and a healthier community in and around Dallas.

“It makes me feel good to know that people appreciate the medical care they receive at UT Southwestern,” said Ron. “I received a text from a friend that read, ‘My 41-year-old daughter was recently a patient at the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Their HV-ICU literally saved her life. Walking the hospital halls late one night, I saw you and your wife’s name etched on the wall as one of the donors for the hospital. I just want to say thank you.’ In my friend’s case, her daughter’s life was saved, and she appreciated the donors who made it possible.”

My 41-year-old daughter was recently a patient at the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. Their HV-ICU literally saved her life. Walking the hospital halls late one night, I saw you and your wife’s name etched on the wall as one of the donors for the hospital. I just want to say thank you.

– Parent of a UTSW patient impacted by the Steinhart’s generosity

Beyond patient care, the Steinharts support UT Southwestern in many ways, including gifts for the Robert D. Rogers Stroke Center, the Helen B. and Arthur E. Hewett Fund for ALS Research, and the Theodore H. Strauss Professorship in Neuro-Oncology. Since 2020, Ron has served in leadership roles at UT Southwestern, including being an honorary member of the President’s Advisory Board and a member of the Board of Visitors. The couple joined The Heritage Society in 1996 as Charter Members by including Southwestern Medical Foundation in their will and are hopeful that their gifts will further advance science and medicine well into the future.

“It means a great deal to have the opportunity to deeply and truly thank Ron and Phyllis Steinhart for their many, tireless efforts spent in leading and giving to worthy causes in our city,” said Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation. “As those of us who know them realize, Ron and Phyllis have created many ripple effects for others in the example they have set. Their work on UT Southwestern’s behalf, on Parkland’s behalf, and on behalf of many underserved citizens, deserves not only admiration and thanks, but also, our reflection on the leadership it can inspire in each of us.”

Connections and community

Ron is grateful for the values he learned from his parents, Werner and Marga, who escaped the Holocaust in 1939 and came to the U.S. with their education – a passport to the future – and a few belongings. After an uncle helped Werner secure a job in Beaumont, Texas, Ron was born as the first American citizen in his family, followed by his parents several years later when they were naturalized.

While studying business at UT Austin, Ron crossed paths with a young woman from Houston, Phyllis Yonet. They married in 1965 and settled in Dallas, where Ron began a successful career in banking that would last almost four decades. He took on leadership roles in volunteerism and community service with civic and banking industry groups and immersed himself into Dallas’ medical community, building relationships with physicians and scientists and the philanthropists who supported their work.

UTSW aerial view

Shaping the Health Care Landscape

“It was said back then that UT Southwestern was the best kept secret in Dallas,” said Ron. “If patients weren’t referred to UT Southwestern for their medical care, they didn’t realize how much it had to offer. I became involved with Zale Lipshy Hospital and William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. I also chaired the election campaign to approve the sale of $800 million in bonds to build the new Parkland. Once those three hospitals were in operation, UT Southwestern was no longer a secret. We are fortunate to have access to this large and varied medical district where some of the country’s greatest physicians and researchers are making transformational discoveries and delivering the finest quality of care.”

The Steinharts are committed to helping families stay well. Phyllis enjoyed her career as a certified medical technologist and ran a medical laboratory until she began raising their three boys. For more than two decades, she volunteered at Parkland, Dallas’ safety net hospital, where she administered hearing tests on newborns in the neonatal intensive care unit.

“It was very fulfilling for Phyllis to volunteer at Parkland each week, testing premature babies,” said Ron. “She was able to exercise her medical skills while helping people.”

Ron is grateful for the opportunity to help build and strengthen North Texas communities.

“I love Texas, and Dallas has been great to me. I spent most of my life in the banking industry, so it was important to be part of the community which I really enjoyed. For more than 60 years, I have devoted a certain amount of my time to civic endeavors, and medicine and education have been my primary areas of interest. I have been involved in many other areas of service, from housing to the United Way to the arts – all the things I think are important for a major community to thrive,” said Ron.

Good health for all

Today the Steinharts are enjoying retirement surrounded by a loving family, including five grandchildren. They are proud that the younger generations are continuing their family’s legacy of giving and look to the future with confidence.

His ambitious vision for the future of health is that one day, outstanding patient care will be available to everyone.

Eric Olson and Ben Dupree discuss research that leads to new patient care at UT Southwestern.
By supporting research at UT Southwestern, families like the Steinhart’s are helping to fund medical discoveries and improved patient care for future generations.

I believe researchers at UT Southwestern will one day develop cures for the diseases we have today and will uncover problems we don’t even know about. By including Southwestern Medical Foundation in our will, we are providing the medical school the ability to carry on their important work long after we are gone.

Ron Steinhart

“We must break new frontiers through medical research and care, but we also need to see that everyone has access to it, especially in low-income areas that have more health challenges than those of us who are fortunate enough to afford the best medical care. Texas has the highest rate of medically uninsured of any state. Those with medical insurance pay more for the extremely high number of people who don’t have insurance. As much as I’ve been a supporter of the highest quality medical care, I believe one day we can make health care financially available to those who can’t afford it.”