Memorial Hermann Foundation Annual Gala Goes Above & Beyond
The lifesaving work undertaken daily at one of the nation’s busiest Level I adult trauma centers and the longest standing pediatric trauma center in Houston was celebrated by more than 1,300 guests of the Memorial Hermann Circle of Life “Above & Beyond” Gala on Saturday, May 4. A riveting video – produced by Ward and Ames Special Events and shown on a 72-foot video screen – brought attendees along for the ride in a “day in the life” of Memorial Hermann Life Flight® and the trauma and critical care services teams, powerfully illustrating the lasting effect on families who have been positively touched by Memorial Hermann.
Garnering an impressive $8.25 million to benefit Memorial Hermann Trauma and Critical Care Services, the gala was chaired by well-known Houston community leaders Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout and Lisa and Jerry Simon. Longtime health system champions Ann and Clarence Cazalot were honored at the gala for their continued leadership and generosity to Memorial Hermann through the years.
For more than a century, Memorial Hermann has served the Houston community with around-the-clock care for the entire family, a theme highlighted through the stories of three former trauma patients who, at different stages in life, each benefitted from the delivery of that lifesaving care.
- When three-year-old Grayson “Gray” Guice slipped in the bathroom onto a ceramic trash can, he was impaled by a broken shard. A Life Flight crew was quickly dispatched to the scene, where paramedics had begun to stabilize Gray. Flight paramedics immediately intubated him and gave him blood while in the air. Gray was rushed into a Memorial Hermann operating room, where trauma surgeon Ethan Taub, DO, began to prepare Gray for surgery. Together with pediatric surgeon KuoJen Tsao, MD, Dr. Taub performed emergency surgery on the boy. Today Gray is a joyful little four-year-old who loves playing superheroes with his twin brother and his little sister.
- Cheyenne Meyer, a recent college graduate, was in the final days of training for a triathlon championship race when she was hit by a car. Doctors found her pelvis broken in seven places, her left hip shattered and her left leg dislocated, which led to internal bleeding. She was flown by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute, where she underwent emergency surgery to stop the bleeding and prevent permanent damage. Later, Milton “Chip” Routt, MD, an orthopedic trauma surgeon, performed an extensive surgery to reconstruct Meyer’s pelvis. She spent eight days at the hospital before moving to a rehabilitation facility where she would learn to live on her own again and perform basic tasks. After months of rehabilitation, she is back to participating in triathlons, now serving as a guide for visually- and hearing-impaired athletes.
- Logan Griffiths was just 17 years old when he was involved in a motorcycle accident that almost took his life. After suffering an air embolism, which is an air bubble in the heart that will stop the heart from beating, he died on the operating room table. After Michelle McNutt, MD, chief of trauma at Memorial Hermann Red Duke Trauma Institute, sawed open Griffiths’s chest and aspirated the air out, he came back to life. Following several additional surgeries and months of rehabilitation, Griffiths now leads a full life with his wife and two daughters, and a job he loves.
“This evening is extra special because tonight, we are honoring a couple who helps ensure Memorial Hermann’s work and who makes a difference in the lives of others each and every day, Ann and Clarence Cazalot,” said Anne Neeson, Executive Vice President and CEO of Memorial Hermann Foundation. “I’ve known them for many years and have always been in awe of Clarence and Ann.”
Honorees Ann and Clarence Cazalot were recognized for their outstanding legacy of support of Memorial Hermann. Clarence currently serves on the Memorial Hermann System Board and as chair of the Finance Committee, while Ann co-chaired the inaugural Memorial Hermann Razzle Dazzle luncheon, which has become a signature Houston event and has raised more than $2.5 million for the Bobetta Lindig Breast Cancer Center at Memorial Hermann Memorial City Medical Center. Ann is extremely passionate about early detection of breast cancer, being a survivor herself. The 10th anniversary of the event will be this October.
“From the moment our first son was born at what was then still Hermann Hospital, we’ve seen firsthand the tremendous care Memorial Hermann delivers to Houstonians in their most trying times,” said Clarence Cazalot. “The system provides truly unique resources that the entire community needs to support.”
As the evening progressed, the celebrating did too, as the impressive video wall opened like a theater curtain to reveal a 48-foot multilevel stage for an exciting musical performance by the Atlanta-based dance band Simply Irresistible. Among the after-dinner crowd were partygoers in the “Sundown Lounge,” a late-night lounge housed within the ballroom with light bites, cocktails, dancing and party favors. The wildly successful “party in progress” element was first introduced in 2017 and has quickly become a guest favorite.
“As one of the busiest Level I trauma centers in the nation, serving both adults and children, we are in a unique position to provide the advanced level of trauma care required to meet the needs of our community,” said Chuck Stokes, President and CEO of Memorial Hermann. “This is why supporting our trauma and critical care services is so important. I am overwhelmed by your generosity; thank you for helping us truly make a difference in all the lives we touch.”
Houston’s philanthropic and business communities celebrated alongside former patients and their families, together with the Memorial Hermann care team who make a lifetime of celebrations possible for so many. Guests included Nancy Ames and Danny Ward, Philamena and Arthur Baird, Tony Bradfield and Kevin Black, Deborah Cannon, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Jo Lynn and Gregg Falgout, Kristina and Paul Somerville, Bobbie Nau, Yvonne and Walter Johnson, Christine Falgout-Gutknecht and Bill Gutknecht, Nina and Edd Hendee, Laurie and Tracy Krohn, Dr. Michelle McNutt and Dr. Billy Gill, Alice and Keith Mosing, Anne E. Neeson and Craig Janies, Lisa and Jerry Simon, Ann and Clarence Cazalot, Barbara and Bill Easter, Susan Sarofim, Beverly and Jim Postl, Judy and Chuck Stokes, Donna and Tony Vallone, Hallie Vanderhider, Bill King, Kimberly and Evan Scheele, Michelle and Stephen Fraga, Zhanna and Vitaly Golodryga, Kathleen and Martin Beirne, Alison and Greg Haralson, Melinda and Mike Perrin, Margaret Alkek Williams and Jim Daniels.
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About Memorial Hermann
At Memorial Hermann, we are all about advancing health. Yours. It begins by redefining health care. Our 6,400 affiliated physicians and more than 26,000 employees practice evidence-based medicine with a relentless focus on quality, safety and exceptional service for all patients, consumers and Health Plan members. Our efforts continue to result in national awards and recognition, including for our nationally acclaimed Accountable Care Organization. With a focus on providing enhanced access to care, Memorial Hermann offers Virtual Clinic for digital access and has 300 care delivery sites conveniently located across the Greater Houston area, including our flagship hospital in the world-renowned Texas Medical Center, which serves as the teaching hospital for McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. We have proudly served this community for more than 110 years, and we contribute more than $588 million annually through school-based health centers and other community benefit programs. Because at Memorial Hermann, the health of our community is always at the center of what we do. Learn more about Memorial Hermann Health System.