Celebrating the Assignment
Monroe E. Trout Endowed Chair in Surgery
Raul Coimbra, MD PhD, FACS
Professor of Surgery
Friday, August 28, 2009
“Chancellor Fox, Vice-Chancellor and Dean Brenner, Surgery Chair Talamini, All Chairs and Division Heads, Hospital Leaders, surgery faculty, my partners, my family, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much for masking time off of your busy schedules to be here today.
Chancellor Fox, your presence here today means a lot to me. Dean Brenner, thank you for all your support and for reaching out to us and understanding the value of what we do in the Division of Trauma and Burns. Dr. Talamini, thank you for your leadership as chair of the Department of Surgery and for allowing this endowed professorship to return to the Division of Trauma, as this was its initial purpose.
I also want to thank Dr. Moossa, who was instrumental in obtaining the endowment from Dr. Trout. Without Dr. Moossa’s connection and friendship with Dr. Trout, the Division of Trauma would not have received the endowment. Thanks Babs, for recognizing that what we do is important for the department, for the university, for our patients, and for the community.
I am honored to receive the Monroe E. Trout Endowed Chair in Surgery; this is truly the highest point of my academic career. The Endowed Chair is possible only through the generosity of Dr. Trout and his family, and for that I will always be grateful.
Let me tell you a little bit about Dr. Trout. Dr. Trout is a physician, lawyer, businessman, executive, father, educator, philanthropist, and art collector. He has worked since the age of 6. He went to medical school at Penn, served in the US Navy as a physician, went to Dickinson School of Law, and climbed the corporate ladder working at Pfizer, Winthrop Laboratories, where he became senior vice-president. He then joined American Healthcare System as chairman and CEO. He has served in a number of boards and committees at UCSD. He was instrumental in establishing the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and endowed scholarships at Morehouse, Dickinson School of Law, and Bloomfield College. He endowed professorships in trauma surgery and pharmacology at UCSD and has received three honorary degrees. During the George Bush administration he was considered for Director of Health and Human Services. He and his wife, Sandra, are founding sponsors of the popular Knoxville Opera Rossini Festival, and he was named Knoxville’s 2004 Philanthropist of the year. He acknowledges that it has been his life’s goal to raise a billion dollars for charity. I have read his autobiography, Winter Galley, and found it inspiring.
More than being recognized at a personal level by the University and School of Medicine, this award recognizes the important role that a world-class trauma center plays in our University and our community, and the invaluable service we provide to the injured patient.
This endowment reminds me that what we do in the trauma center every day is a team effort, and not a one-man job. I would not be here today without my partners. I have been blessed to work with a fantastic group of people: clinical faculty, scientists, nurses, fellows, and the Division of Trauma staff, who inspire me every day and give me the energy to keep moving forward.
I intend to use this award to support, at least in part, new research projects from junior faculty, program development, and prevention and outreach activities. The support of individuals such as Dr. Trout makes a number of important program activities possible, and having the Endowed Chair in the Division of Trauma will enable the future leaders of our Division to carry on the academic mission of our programs. I am so pleased to receive this award and I am excited about the many opportunities it presents.
Finally, I want to thank my wife Sandra, and my children Renata and Bruno for their unconditional support, for their understanding of what I do, and accepting my physical absence in many family, school, and sports-related events when I was taking care of the injured patient. Thank you very much.” Raul Coimbra, MD, PhD, FACS