Charting a Course for the Future of Health Care: Meet the New Trustees at Dallas’ Southwestern Medical Foundation

The nonprofit that helped create UT Southwestern Medical Center has added to its lineup of trustees with a mix of philanthropic and business leaders.

The nonprofit that helped create UT Southwestern Medical Center is looking to “broaden the reach of its mission,” by adding to its lineup of trustees with a mix of philanthropic and business leaders.

Launched in 1939, the Dallas-based Southwestern Medical Foundation says its goal is to connect donors with innovative programs that lead to cutting-edge medical research and education that translates to better patient care in the region.

The Foundation says its six new Trustees have a capacity to “chart a course for the future of health care [that’s] exemplified by their unique qualifications across business, finance, technology, real estate, and philanthropy.”

“Each joins us ready to lead forward during this exciting time of growth and expansion in North Texas. Their diverse perspectives and experiences energize our efforts … and inspire progress in medicine,” said James Huffines, chairman of the foundation, in a statement.

Meet the new Southwestern Medical Foundation trustees

  • Cheryl Alston, executive director and chief investment officer of the city of Dallas’ employee’s retirement fund
  • Dawn Zierk, a former financial analyst at Cisco and philanthropist
  • Imran Khan, co-founder and CEO of e-commerce platform Verishop and financial firm Proem Asset Management
  • Kathleen Wu, partner at Hunton Andrews Kurth
  • Shonn Brown, chief global litigation counsel for Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • Pilar Tabarnero Henry, Meadows Museum advisory council member and board member at the Meadows School at SMU and the Dallas Theater Center

According to the foundation, it manages a portfolio of $1.3 billion in pooled assets, about half of which are permanently endowed to benefit UT Southwestern Medical Center, across nearly 1,000 funds.

The new trustees come on board on the heels of the UT Southwestern Medical Center receiving a $100 million gift—one it says is the largest of any school of public health at a public university—from the O’Donnell Foundation, to create a new school of public health at its South Campus.

“This outstanding group of community leaders makes a tremendous addition to our Foundation Board,” said Kathleen Gibson, president and CEO of the Southwestern Medical Foundation, in a statement. “We have much to accomplish in the coming years, and we thank our Trustees for their willingness to devote their valuable time and expertise that will assure the Foundation’s strategic and lasting impact in shaping our future.”

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