According to an email I was sent, the following letter was sent to Governor Perry from the Galveston Republican Women concerning the state of UTMB. It's beneath the fold for your perusal.
30 December 2008 The Honorable Rick Perry, Governor of the State of Texas P.O. Box 12428 Austin, Texas 78711Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 09, 2009 to Hurricane Katrina
Dear Governor Perry:
Please accept this letter from the Galveston Republican Women as both an
expression of our great concern for the future of the University of Texas Medical
Branch at Galveston (UTMB) and our request that you provide the leadership
needed to reverse the decisions that were made by the University of Texas Regents.
Since 1891, this proud institution has cared for the citizens of Texas in the true
spirit of the Hippocratic Oath without regard to their social standing or wealth. It
has cared for the poor, many of whom are either under insured or uninsured
citizens of Texas. These patients were not just citizens of Galveston County, but
citizens from the Rio Grande Valley to the Louisiana and Oklahoma borders.
Unlike many other hospitals and medical schools that turn away non-paying patients,
UTMB took advantage of the medical diversity of this huge patient base and used it
to provide thousands of students, interns and residents with a first class medical
education and thus provided the state of Texas with some of the finest and best
trained doctors in the world.
On September 13, 2008, Galveston and UTMB were severely wounded by
Hurricane IKE. However, that disaster was followed by unconscionable decisions
made by the University of Texas Regents in El Paso and Austin to minimize this
viable institution. The citizens of Galveston County depend on the medical care and
economic impact of those who work, teach and learn at UTMB. Thousands of our
citizens are left without jobs at this time when at least half of those citizens have also
lost their homes.
The Regents' decisions have:
- Driven away many of our primary care physicians;
- Left UTMB medical school students, interns and residents in limbo unsure as
to where or how they will complete their training, much less how to finance
- Disregarded the number of senior citizens who chose to retire and now live
here without the medical care that was one of the main reasons that they
chose to retire on Galveston Island; their justified sense of security has been
- Has left the petrochemical industry just north of us and on platforms and rigs
in the Gulf without a Level 1 trauma center;
- Has hurt our tourist industry, for without a trauma center there is no
immediate way to care for the inevitable injuries and accidents; and
- Has eliminated UTMB care as a choice for patients flying in from around the United States, Latin America and Canada;
In short, we believe that the decisions that have been made are wrong and need to
be reversed. Therefore, we urge you to work with the State Legislature to provide
the funds necessary to complete the restoration of UTMB, and with the Regents of
the University of Texas to restore full support of one of the most important medical
facilities in Texas before that facility is lost as both a prime medical education
center and the economic mainstay of both the City and the County of Galveston.
Do not forget that UTMB at Galveston has been - and IS - an extremely valuable
resource to the State of Texas.
We need your leadership to coordinate the participation of office holders, both
Republican and Democrat, to work with UTMB at Galveston as it strives to survive
both Hurricane IKE and the Regents' decisions concerning UTMB's future.
Sally H. Prill (Mrs. George C. Prill)
President, Galveston Republican Women
CC Dr. David Callendar, President, UTMB, Galveston
The Regents, University of Texas
The Honorable Lydia Ann Thomas, Mayor of the City of Galveston
The Honorable Jim Yarborough, County . Galveston Commissioners Court
The Honorable Mike Jackson, Texas State Senator, SD 11
The Honorable Joan Huffman, Texas Senator-Elect, SD 17
The Honorable Craig Eiland, Texas State Representative, District 23
The Honorable Larry Taylor, Texas State Representative, District 24
The Honorable John Cornyn, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchinson, U.S. Senator
The Honorable Ron Paul, U.S. Representative, District 14
The Honorable Peter Olson, U.S. Representative-Elect, District 22
The Galveston County Daily News