A NEW CLINIC NAMED FOR A PIONEERING PHYSICIAN Making good on a promise to invest in improving the health of residents on San Antonio's East Side, University Health System began construction in October on the Dr. Robert L.M. Hilliard Center, a 25,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art family healthcare center. Dr. Robert L. M. Hilliard, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 83, had deep and profound ties to the East Side community where he practiced obstetrics and gynecology. He delivered more than 14,000 babies over the course of his career. He also had significant ties to the two organizations that came together to make this new family health center a reality- University Health System and the San Antonio Housing Authority. Dr. Hilliard was the first African-American physician to receive specialty training at the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital, the birthplace of the University Health System mission. He was also a past-chairman of the San Antonio Housing Authority, or SAHA, which provided the land for the new health center that will bear his name. In 1956, Dr. Hilliard became the third black student to earn a medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. After serving as a flight surgeon in the Air Force, he came home to San Antonio to complete his residency at the Robert B. Green. A press release issued in 1962 by the Bexar County Hospital District announced his appointment as the first black physician in the South to become chief resident of obstetrics-gynecology at a major teaching hospital. Newspapers across the country picked up the story. Dr. Hilliard ran into resistance and racism from both colleagues and patients. But like many pioneers, he opened doors for those who followed. He was a mentor to many young people - serving as clinical associate professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center for much of his career. Over the decades, he held many public service and leadership positions, including a term on the San Antonio City Council in the 70s, president of the National Medical Association, and president of the Texas State Board of Medical Examiners. He received many significant honors and awards, including the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award from the UT Medical Branch in 1991. The idea to name the new East Side health center after the distinguished physician began with Bexar County Commissioner for Precinct 4, Tommy Calvert. "Dr. Hilliard was deeply committed to his patients and his community," said Commissioner Calvert at the official groundbreaking ceremony on October 18, 2016. The only other University Health System location named after an individual is the Robert B. Green campus, which opened in 1917 as the Robert B. Green Memorial Hospital, in memory of a former Bexar County Judge. Coincidentally, Dr. Hilliard was born at the Robert B. Green hospital.
2016 See How We See Annual Report
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