News Clarke Heidrick, Guiding Force Behind Central Health District, to be Honored

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AUSTIN, Texas - (December 13, 2011) - Clarke Heidrick, a guiding force in the creation and success of Central Health, Travis County's health care district, will be honored at the 7th Annual University Medical Center Brackenridge luncheon in April for his longstanding commitment to providing quality medical services to local residents, regardless of their ability to afford it.

Heidrick, attorney with the firm Graves, Dougherty, Hearon & Moody and chair of its board, was a leader in the May 2004 campaign that created Central Health. He subsequently served as the district's first Board of Managers chair and continues to serve on the board.

Central Health is committed to ensuring people get the most appropriate care based on their needs; organizing a smarter system for health care delivery; and optimizing taxpayer investment for greater results. Central Health owns University Medical Center Brackenridge, which is operated by Seton Healthcare Family.

"Any city that aspires to be great must have someone like a Clarke Heidrick. Clarke is that rare but critical lynchpin who, because he is trusted, respected and admired, can make great things happen in a community," said Greg Hartman, Seton ministry president and president and CEO of Seton Medical Center Austin and University Medical Center Brackenridge.

Heidrick's community leadership extends to other areas of interest as well. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Shivers Cancer Foundation; Chair of the Foundation for Religious Studies in Texas; and Vice-Chair of the Board of the Rebekah Baines Johnson Center. He is the incoming chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

In 2005, Heidrick was awarded the Neal Kocurek Award for Healthcare Advocacy by People's Community Clinic. He's also won the David Walter Community Excellence Award from the Austin Bar Association in 2007; the Byron Cox Community Caring Award in 2008 from The Care Communities; and the United Way Capital Area Community Champion Award in 2005.

"UMC Brackenridge is an often overlooked but invaluable asset to our community - where innovative medicine is practiced; where Level 1 trauma and emergency care are provided to everyone in the region; and where our neighbors in need get help, regardless of their ability to pay. I am honored to be recognized by UMC Brackenridge and the great people who work there," Heidrick said.

The UMC Brackenridge luncheon will be held Tuesday, April 10, 2012, at the Four Seasons from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Earlier this year, more than 500 guests attended the event, which also spotlighted UMC Brackenridge's new Research Awards Program to fund ingenuity and creativity in clinical research.

Research program grants are funded by proceeds from the luncheon. In 2011, four grants totaling nearly $140,000 were awarded for research studies addressing serious medical challenges. In 2012, grants will be awarded for research as well as technology to support complex medical care.

Past luncheon honorees for contributing to excellence in health care are former Austin City Council Member Betty Dunkerley; Dr. Kenneth Shine, vice chancellor of health affairs for The University of Texas System; Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, chancellor of the UT System; and former UT and NFL football star Doug English, founder and president of the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation.

For information about this event, including sponsorship opportunities, contact Chris Attal, director of development for UMC Brackenridge at cattal@seton.org or (512) 324-7326.

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