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. Both came to the event without knowing the well-deserved honor that was about to be given to them that night. 

The evening began with a reception, as guests mingled amid soft orchestral music with drinks and appetizers, sharing in the anticipation of the announcement to come. As Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation, came up to the podium to speak, it was evident that something special was in the works. Soon, pictures of Dr. Cavanagh began displaying on the overhead screen, as his colleagues came up to speak about his incredible contributions to not only Transplant Services, but to UT Southwestern overall. 

For his outstanding commitment and long-time support and contributions to Transplant Services, Dr. Cavanagh was surprised with the establishment of the Corneal Disease and Transplantation Lectureship, in Honor of H. Dwight Cavanagh, M.D.

After celebrating the special honor, Ellen Heck was brought up to the podium, as she was presented with a certificate declaring the establishment of the Chair in Tissue Transplantation, in Honor of Ellen L. Heck.

What a privilege it has been to help recognize two individuals who have made incredible progress and given the gift of better health to so many patients through UT Southwestern’s Transplant Services. Dwight Cavanagh and Ellen Heck have helped pave the path for the incredible, life-changing work that Transplant Services has been carrying out for decades. We are so grateful for the generous endowments that made it possible to establish this Chair and Lectureship in their honor.
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 opportunity to honor such distinguished individuals who have made a lasting impact on our community. Through their Chair and Lectureship, their legacies will forever be inspiration for continued excellence within Transplant Services at UT Southwestern.

Click here to view the photo gallery from the event.