On the evening of July 23, 2019, guests gathered at Southwestern Medical Foundation to celebrate the work of the William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital Transplant Services at UT Southwestern Medical Center. The event, however, was more than just a celebration – it was an opportunity for friends, family, and colleagues to recognize two very special individuals with a surprise. 

Dwight Cavanagh, M.D., Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at UT Southwestern and the Director and Associate Dean for Transplant Services, and Ellen Louise Heck, Administrative Director of Transplant Services, were in attendance on the night of the celebration. 

Guests mingled during the reception, sharing in the anticipation of the announcement to come. As speakers came to the podium, it became evident that something special was in the works. Soon, pictures of Dr. Cavanagh began displaying on the overhead screen, and colleagues began meaningful tributes outlining his contributions to Transplant Services and UT Southwestern during his tenure.

Then, Dr. Cavanagh was presented with the news of the establishment of the Corneal Disease and Transplantation Lectureship, in Honor of H. Dwight Cavanagh, M.D., Ph.D.

After celebrating this special tribute to Dr. Cavanagh, Ellen Heck was asked to come to the podium for an announcement. She was presented with a separate tribute and the news of the establishment of a Chair in Tissue Transplantation, in Honor of Ellen L. Heck.

What a privilege it has been to recognize two individuals who have made incredible medical progress possible for so many patients through their leading roles in Transplant Services at UT Southwestern. Dr. Dwight Cavanagh and Ellen Heck have helped to pave the path for the life-changing work that Transplant Services performs. We are deeply grateful for the generous donors that made it possible to establish these endowments honoring their lasting contributions to medicine.Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO, Southwestern Medical Foundation

The unique Chair in Tissue Transplantation position will go on to shape UT Southwestern for decades to come. Likewise, the Corneal Disease and Transplantation Lectureship, established in Cavanagh’s honor represents a significant contribution to UT Southwestern, funding education that will go on to shape the medical professionals of tomorrow and provide life-changing medical care to those in need. 

Southwestern Medical Foundation is grateful for the donors who provided the means to honor these distinguished individuals who have made a lasting impact on our community. Their legacies will forever be an inspiration for continued excellence within Transplant Services at UT Southwestern.

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event.