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TIRR Memorial Hermann Journal

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MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER

2016 Spring Gerard FranciscoTwo years ago, the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at UTHealth was No. 29 in the country in National Institutes of Health funding for research. Today, we’re No. 11 among all departments of PM&R in the U.S. I give credit for this giant leap forward to Carl Josehart.

The founding of the NeuroRecovery Research Center, where we study the role of neuromodulation, human-machine interfaces, robots and exoskeletons in facilitating neurologic and physical recovery, would not have been possible without the vision Carl and I shared of what research should be at TIRR Memorial Hermann – patient centered and applied quickly in the clinical setting. To Carl, people are the most important element of research.

In my experience, he’s an anomaly among CEOs. He kept his eye on the bottom line but never lost sight of the fact that people make the hospital. This was evident in his relationships with physicians and his communication style; many of us feel that he’s one of us.

His door was always open to physicians, including our residents, with whom he continues to work at UTHealth. Many residents took him up on his offer to drop by his office and talk. Some have told me they were surprised when the CEO asked them to call him by his first name. Carl has a long list of accomplishments at TIRR, but from my point of view, his greatest legacy is the people-centered atmosphere he created at the hospital, and the TIRR Memorial Hermann Research Center, which houses five centers and seven laboratories, and wouldn’t be here today without the financial investment he supported. We’ll miss his openness, his realistic optimism and his passion for creating inclusive societies without barriers.

Gerard E. Francisco, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
McGovern Medical School at UTHealth