Night of Hearts

Texas Heart Institute shines spotlight on medical superstars and military legends

Texas Heart Institute shines spotlight on medical and military legends

Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, William McReaven, Janiece Longoria, Steve Lasher, Dr. James Willerson
William McRaven, Janiece Longoria, Steve Lasher, Dr. James Willerson. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Louise Cooley, Dr. Denton Cooley, Jim Daniels, Margaret Alkek Williams
Louise Cooley, Dr. Denton Cooley, Jim Daniel, Margaret Alkek Williams. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Pickens, Faith Majors Lee Majors
T. Boone Pickens, Toni Pickens, Faith Majors, Lee Majors. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Susan Cooley, Dr. Charles Fraser, Helen Fraser, Dr. John Craddock
Susan Cooley, Dr. Charles Fraser, Helen Fraser, Dr. John Craddock. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Diane Lokey Farb, Thurmon Andress, Lilly Andress
Diane Lokey Farb, Thurmon Andress, Lilly Andress. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016,Dr. Daryl Dichoso, Amy Dichoso
Dr. Daryl Dichoso, Amy Dichoso. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Fred Zeidman, Dr. Robert Robbins
Fred Zeidman, Dr. Robert Robbins. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Pam Ott, William McRaven, Dr. David Ott
Pam Ott, William McRaven, Dr. David Ott. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Donna Weitzman, Herbert Weitzman
Donna Weitzman, Herbert Weitzman. Photo by Ken Hoge
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Judy McConnell, Wayne McConnell
Judy McConnell, Wayne McConnell. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Cal McNair, Hannah McNair
Cal McNair, Hannah McNair. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Dr. Pete Kaldis, Dr. Leslie Kaldis
Dr. Pete Kaldis, Dr. Leslie Kaldis. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Jim Daniel, Brenda Duncan, John Duncan
Jim Daniel, Brenda Duncan, John Duncan. Photo by Chris Kuhlman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, William McReaven, Janiece Longoria, Steve Lasher, Dr. James Willerson
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Louise Cooley, Dr. Denton Cooley, Jim Daniels, Margaret Alkek Williams
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, T. Boone Pickens, Toni Pickens, Faith Majors Lee Majors
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Susan Cooley, Dr. Charles Fraser, Helen Fraser, Dr. John Craddock
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Diane Lokey Farb, Thurmon Andress, Lilly Andress
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016,Dr. Daryl Dichoso, Amy Dichoso
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Fred Zeidman, Dr. Robert Robbins
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Pam Ott, William McRaven, Dr. David Ott
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Donna Weitzman, Herbert Weitzman
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Judy McConnell, Wayne McConnell
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Cal McNair, Hannah McNair
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Dr. Pete Kaldis, Dr. Leslie Kaldis
Texas Heart Institute dinner, Feb. 2016, Jim Daniel, Brenda Duncan, John Duncan

Reviving its prestigious Denton A. Cooley Leadership Award dinner, the Texas Heart Institute enjoyed the prowess of medical big guns and military might to deliver proceeds of more than $700,000. The evening honored retired four-star admiral William McRaven, who now serves as University of Texas System chancellor. 

The "Leading With the Heart" evening filled the Hilton Americas-Houston ballroom with a respected coterie of cardiologists and surgeons including Dr. Denton Cooley and Texas Heart Institute president Dr. James T. Willerson. The last time there was such a prestigious gathering was THI's 50th anniversary gala in 2012.

McRaven began his remarks with a tribute to Willerson. "I can tell you he is a man of tremendous energy. He really does seem to be everywhere . . . He is a man of compassion and I tell you in this age of technology and big pharma, we sometimes forget that a doctor's greatest skill lies in his ability to provide comfort to his patient. And I know of few men that do that as well as Jim Willerson."

In praise of Cooley, McRaven said, "I am honored to be mentioned in the same breath with Denton Cooley."

The benefit was chaired by Janiece Longoria, chair of the Port of Houston Authority, and Steve Lasher, GulfStar Group managing director and co-founder. UT System vice chancellor Randa Safady served as emcee. She and others brought home the point that heart disease is "the preeminent killer of men, women and children."

The impressive medical contingent included Dr. O.H. "Bud" Frazier, Drs. Leslie and Peter Kaldis, Dr. Charles Fraser, Dr. David Ott, Dr. John Craddock, Dr. Daryl Dichoso, and Dr. Robert Robbins, Texas Medical Center president and CEO.

Among those supporting THI were Toni and T. Boone Pickens, Margaret Alkek Williams, Louise Cooley, Alfred Glassell III, Rose Cullen, Lynn Wyatt, Barbara and Charles Hurwitz, Shirley and Jim Dannenbaum, Beth Robertson, Cathy and Joe Cleary, Donna and Tony Vallone, and Arlene and Marshall Hoffman.

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