$20 million contribution from Sammons to endow Heart, Lung, Vascular Center

By Rachel Skei Donihoo

The Sammons Dallas Foundation , a longtime advocate of medical research and patient care, has given $20 million to support heart, lung and vascular programs at
UT Southwestern.

The endowment will support an Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Heart, Lung and Vascular Comprehensive Center, which will include inpatient and outpatient services, as well as clinical and translational research programs.

The contribution to UT Southwestern is part of a $100 million gift the foundation made to six Dallas organizations. Other recipients were the Salvation Army of Dallas County, Methodist Health System Foundation, Communities Foundation of Texas, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas and Baylor Health Care System Foundation.

In 2009 the Sammons Dallas Foundation donated $100,000 to foster similar programs at UT Southwestern. The gift was given through St. Paul Medical Foundation, which since 1983 has received more than $1.57 million from the foundation.

Sammons Enterprises Inc. and the foundation both were established by Charles A. Sammons, who in 1938 founded Reserve Life Insurance Co. in downtown Dallas. Mr. Sammons believed that the value of a company was determined by more than the numbers on the bottom line. With 3,800 employees around the world and assets approaching $40 billion, Sammons Enterprises ranks among the largest privately owned companies in the world. The diversified holding corporation owns and operates businesses across a variety of industries. It also manages a large investment portfolio.

When Mr. Sammons died in 1988, he entrusted his wife, Elaine, who served as chairman of the board until her death in January 2009, to see that the employees and management remained true to his ideas about making a difference in the community.

“This is a tremendous gift, and we are extremely grateful to the men and women of Sammons Enterprises and the trustees of the Sammons Dallas Foundation for their trust and generosity,” said Dr. Daniel K. Podolsky, president of UT Southwestern. “Our medical center is widely recognized as having one of the nation’s leading heart, lung and vascular research and treatment centers, and we rely on support like this to maintain our momentum. We feel very fortunate to be included in the legacy of Elaine and Charles Sammons and are thrilled about the opportunities this significant contribution will mean for the future of UT Southwestern.”

UT Southwestern’s heart, lung and vascular programs provide seamless, individualized care for adult congenital heart disease, cardiac rehabilitation, cardiac imaging, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, electrophysiology, general cardiology, heart failure, heart and lung transplant, interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, lung transplant pulmonology, mechanical circulatory assistance, preventive cardiology, pulmonary hypertension, vascular and endovascular surgery, and other disorders.