Haley receives leadership award from Dallas County Medical Society

By Rusell Rian

The Dallas County Medical Society awarded Dr. Robert W. Haley, Chief of Epidemiology, the Charles Max Cole, M.D., Leadership Award, which recognizes a medical society member for outstanding service to the profession of medicine and to the community.

Robert Haley, MD
Robert Haley, MD

In announcing the award, the society highlighted Dr. Haley’s research on the epidemiology and prevention of hospital-acquired infections, known as nosocomial infections, to improve the quality of hospital care and his groundbreaking work on Gulf War syndrome. A former president of the Dallas County Medical Society, he established UT Southwestern’s Division of Epidemiology in 1983.

In the late 1980s he performed an epidemiologic study of public school achievement in Dallas public schools and helped to implement a measurement and accountability system that became the model for the federal No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years he has led the Texas Medical Association’s policy development on environmental protection and clean air.

“Dr. Haley’s contributions to medicine through his work on nosocomial infections and on the primary etiologies of Gulf War syndrome have been outstanding. In addition to his teaching at UT Southwestern, he has directly served the medical community by substantial Dallas County Medical Society activity, including being president. We are proud to honor him in this fashion and are happy to have him as one of our own,” said Dr. Shelton Hopkins, President of the Dallas County Medical Society, a 1971 alumnus from UT Southwestern, and orthopaedic surgeon at Orthopedic Associates of Dallas.

“It is extremely gratifying to be honored by the organization that does so much to safeguard the practice of medicine and the welfare of our patients,” said Dr. Haley, who graduated from UT Southwestern the same year as Dr. Hopkins.

Dr. Cole, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 95, completed residency training at Parkland Memorial Hospital and later joined the UT Southwestern Medical School faculty as Clinical Professor of Surgery. He went on to serve as president of the attending staff at Parkland and Chief of Surgery at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas. He served as president of the Dallas County Medical Society in 1964 and the Texas Medical Association from 1969-70.

The first Cole Award was given in 1985 to Dr. Cole for his numerous contributions on the national, state and local levels. Other UT Southwestern recipients include two former UT Southwestern presidents, Dr. Charles Sprague, who was the second recipient, and Dr. Kern Wildenthal, Professor of Internal Medicine and Physiology, and former President of Southwestern Medical Foundation; as well as Dr. Ron Anderson, Professor of Internal Medicine; Dr. Phil Berry Jr., Clinical Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery; Dr. Frederick Bonte, Director of the Nuclear Medicine Center and Professor of Radiology; Dr. Dennis Factor, Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Dr. Gordon Green, Professor of Family and Community Medicine and Pediatrics, and former Dean of UT Southwestern School of Health Professions; Dr. M.T. “Pepper” Jenkins, former Chairman of Anesthesiology and Pain Management; Dr. Luis Leib, Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology; Dr. Ernest Poulos, former Emeritus Director of Surgical Training at St. Paul University Hospital; Dr. Vernie Stembridge, former Chairman of Pathology; and Dr. David Vanderpool, Clinical Professor of Surgery.

Drs. Bonte, Berry, Factor, Green, Leib, and Vanderpool are past presidents of Dallas County Medical Society.


Dr. Bonte holds the Dr. Jack Krohmer Professorship in Radiation Physics.

Dr. Haley holds the U.S. Armed Forces Veterans Distinguished Chair for Medical Research, Honoring [Robert Haley, M.D., and] America’s Gulf War Veterans.

Dr. Kern Wildenthal holds the Carolyn P. and Frank M. Ryburn Jr. Distinguished Chair in Basic Research in Heart Disease.