AUSTIN, Texas – (Nov. 1, 2012) – Dr. Beverly Sutton, distinguished pediatrician and psychiatrist who started the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Residency Program at Austin State Hospital in 1971 and led the transition of residency programs from the hospital to Ascension Seton, has been inducted into the Central Texas Academic Health Care Hall of Fame.
A plaque honoring her will join other Hall of Famers on the first floor of the Clinical Education Center at Brackenridge. It will note Dr. Sutton’s contributions to the growth of local “psychiatry educational opportunities and psychiatric clinical services.”
Dr. Sutton was honored during a special luncheon Oct. 31 for local retired physicians sponsored by Ascension Seton at the St. Vincent de Paul Auditorium in the Ascension Seton Administration Offices building. Dr. Jim Lindsey, Ascension Seton senior vice president and chief medical officer, made the presentation.
Dr. Paul Burns, former medical chief of staff at Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin and founder of the Austin Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, spoke at the event about what current and future physicians can learn their predecessors and from Catholic nuns Burns worked with while serving in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and while working at Seton.
Recalling how he and other Army medics were escorted into combat areas by armed U.S. troops, he noted, “Many times out in those remote and dangerous villages and hamlets were Catholic nuns – no volunteers or groups with a fancy or catchy name, but Catholic nuns quietly and courageously caring for the same people, risking their lives every day, as we did, for the simple reason that it was the right thing to do.”
Later at Ascension Seton, Dr. Burns worked for Sister Mary Rose, chief operating officer at that time. He said, “Like the great nuns I worked with in Vietnam, she was called to a higher mission. When I think of charity and commitment, I think of the nuns in Vietnam, Sister Mary Rose, the physicians I practiced with – and I am glad I chose to spend much of my life at Ascension Seton and in Austin.”
He urged current and future physicians to embrace and teach “charity, compassion, lack of greed, empathy, sympathy for the less fortunate, understanding of the mentally ill and mentally handicapped, tolerance.”
Dr. Burns concluded, “One last thought: I just hope that you and the young physicians you train will be able to look back at the end with fond memories and the satisfaction I and my colleagues have.”
The event concluded with a panel discussing “The Past, Present and Future of Medicine in Central Texas.” It featured Dr. Mark Hernandez, executive director of clinical integration for University Medical Center Brackenridge; Dr. Tom Coopwood, a member of the Central Health Board of Managers; and Dr. Ken Shine, University of Texas System executive vice chancellor for health affairs. It was moderated by Greg Hartman, president and chief executive officer for Ascension Seton’s central market group.