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Community News
University of Texas Medical Branch
February 26, 2005
 

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The Sealy & Smith Foundation has announced the appointment of new officers. Seated, from left, are J. Fellman Seinsheimer III, vice president, and Charles A. Worthen, president emeritus. Standing, from left, are John W. Kelso, president; Michael C. Doherty, treasurer-secretary; George Sealy, executive vice president; John Eckel; and James B. Galbraith.

Sealy & Smith Foundation 
Announces New Officers

John Kelso named president of the 83-year-old foundation

GALVESTON, Texas —The Sealy & Smith Foundation has announced the appointment of new officers. John W. Kelso has been named president, assuming the role formerly held by Charles A. Worthen, who will remain active on the board as president emeritus. J. Fellman Seinsheimer III has been installed as vice president, the position Kelso previously occupied. The changes took effect Feb. 1.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of serving as president of The Sealy & Smith Foundation board of directors for more than 12 years,” Worthen said. “As this new chapter in the foundation’s history begins, I am honored to have John Kelso serve as my successor in that role. John not only has served the foundation as a capable and committed director for two decades, but he comes from a long line of advocates for the health and well-being of Galveston.” Kelso’s father, Alvin N. Kelso, and grandfather John Harris both served as foundation board members.

Kelso said he looks forward to continuing the successful collaboration between The Sealy & Smith Foundation and the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. “I’m delighted to have this opportunity to build upon our past accomplishments with UTMB,” he said. “It is a privilege and honor to take over the reins of the foundation from Charles Worthen, who has done an extraordinary job of helping to ensure UTMB provides the best possible health care to the community.”

Established in 1922 in Galveston, The Sealy & Smith Foundation is dedicated to helping UTMB further its patient care mission. John Sealy II and Jennie Sealy Smith incorporated the foundation to perpetuate the philanthropic legacy of their father, John Sealy. A successful Galveston entrepreneur, John Sealy bequeathed $50,000 for a charitable endeavor benefiting the city. Upon his death in 1884, his brother, George, and widow, Rebecca, determined that the bequest would be used to build a much-needed hospital in Galveston. This pivotal funding spurred the state to follow through on its plans to build the University of Texas Medical Department in the island city. The original John Sealy Hospital opened in 1890 and became a teaching hospital for the Medical Department (now UTMB), which held its first classes the following year. Since its establishment, the foundation has donated more than $500 million to UTMB programs of excellence that enhance the quality of, or access to, patient care services.

President of J. W. Kelso Construction and Texas Gulf Construction Co., John Kelso was appointed to the foundation’s board of directors in 1985. He is a director of the George Ball Charity Association and the Galveston Foundation and serves as a Rosenberg Library trustee and an advisory director of Frost Bank, Galveston. Kelso is associated with the Galveston Historical Foundation Endowment Inc. and the Fifty Club of Galveston. He is also a member of the UTMB Development Board, an organization that helps develop fund-raising strategies for the university. Members act as “ambassadors” for UTMB, assisting in outreach efforts to alumni, patients and other supporters.

The Sealy & Smith Foundation made possible significant enhancements to UTMB’s campus and programs during Worthen’s tenure as foundation president, which began in 1992. Among the numerous highlights are:

 

·   The dedication of the Emergency Room in 1992. The foundation contributed $28 million to construct the facility, a technologically advanced health care resource and a major factor in UTMB’s designation as a Level I trauma center in 1999. The university now serves as the lead trauma facility for a nine-county region in southeast Texas.

·   The acquisition of Rebecca Sealy Hospital in 1996. The foundation contributed the funds for the purchase and initial renovation of the facility. Since that time, it has become home to numerous administrative offices that support UTMB’s education, research and patient care mission, and has afforded patients easy access to such clinical programs as Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation clinics, the Day Surgery Unit, Infectious Diseases clinics, and diagnostic imaging services. The foundation continues to fund improvements to the facility.

·   The creation of the Acute Care for Elders (ACE) Unit. Approximately $3.8 million from the foundation financed the development of this award-winning unit in John Sealy Hospital. Completed in late 2000, the ACE Unit features a more relaxed, homelike environment that helps acutely ill seniors maintain their independence during and after hospitalization. The Sealy & Smith Foundation contributed $750,000 in 2004 to more than double the unit’s size to 52 beds.

·   The construction of UTMB’s biosafety level 4 (BSL4) laboratory. The foundation made a $7.5 million lead gift to help construct the John Sealy Pavilion for Infectious Diseases Research and the Robert E. Shope, M.D., Laboratory it houses. The lab, which became operational in 2004 and offers the highest level of containment, allows certified UTMB researchers to safely study the pathogens responsible for a number of dangerous emerging infectious diseases. The first full-sized BSL4 laboratory at a U.S. university, the facility helped the university successfully compete for $158 million in federal funding to establish the Western Regional Center of Excellence in Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases and to construct the proposed Galveston National Laboratory. UTMB was the only university in the nation to receive both the Regional Center of Excellence and national laboratory designations from the National Institutes of Health.

Worthen joined The Sealy & Smith Foundation board in 1977. He retired as the chairman of NationsBank of Galveston, previously the First Hutchings-Sealy National Bank. Worthen was the founding chairman of the Galveston Economic Development Corp. and served as president of the Fifty Club of Galveston and the Rosenberg Library Board of Trustees. He was a member of the Houston-Galveston Area Council, Galveston Cotton Exchange, Galveston Wharves Board of Trustees and Galveston Corp. Worthen also served on the UTMB Development Board.

Seinsheimer is president of American Finance Company of Galveston. He retired as president and chief executive officer of American Indemnity Companies in 1999. He was a member and chairman of the Insurance Council of Texas and past chairman of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce board of directors. Appointed to The Sealy & Smith Foundation board of directors in 1987, Seinsheimer is a director of the Rosenberg Library and chairman and director of the J.F. Seinsheimer Jr. Charitable Foundation.

Other members of The Sealy & Smith Foundation board are: George Sealy III, executive vice president; Michael C. Doherty, treasurer-secretary; John Eckel; and James B. Galbraith. As president emeritus, Worthen will remain an active member of the foundation board.

 

 

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