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As Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Richard “Rick” Smith understood the importance of bringing about healing of body, mind and soul. By example he showed how spirituality in the workplace supports an environment of healing and he often encouraged self-expression in others as the truest way to make a personal contribution to that healing. He shared his love for the arts through his own paintings and his encouragement and influence manifested at the heart of many projects here.
The Gallery is open to all visitors as an area where healing can take place. In this place, employees and physicians are invited to create and share their artwork in a personal and sacred way. Rick Smith understood the many ways in which healing can take place, and this Gallery is an expression of his vision, spirit and understanding.
Dr. James H. "Red" Duke, Jr. (1928-2015), the John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School, was a dedicated physician known for his extraordinary patient care and efforts to train medical students and surgeons.
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Dr. Duke was one of the first three faculty members in our Department of Surgery at UTHealth Medical School, now McGovern Medical School at UTHealth. Dr. Stanley Dudrick, the medical school’s first chairman of surgery, recruited Dr. Duke from Afghanistan and asked him to come to Houston.
Before Hermann Hospital bought its first helicopter, I was working as a nurse in the recovery room, where I first got to know Dr. Duke. Those of us working in recovery became accustomed to Dr. Duke’s surgical cases being the longest cases of the day… and there was no secret why.
The year was 1986. I was sitting in the old Doctor’s Club in the Jesse Jones Library Building attending a media awards event for the Harris County Medical Society. On my right was our county coroner, Dr. Joseph Jachimczyk. On my left was an empty seat, soon filled by Dr. Red Duke who ...
I truly enjoy my memories of working with Dr. Duke as a videographer/editor on his health reports for nearly 10 years. He was a great talent. He never used a teleprompter on camera. He would take only a few moments to memorize his script and he was ready to record.
My first hug with Dr. Duke. I'll never forget it. I was working the cash register at Café Hermann one evening after suffering an injury to my arm. I had been in excruciating pain – I'm talking worse than labor – for two weeks and my doctor hadn't yet figured out what was wrong, so he put me in a brace.
We all have an image that comes to mind when we hear the name ‘Dr. Red Duke.’ For many, it may be his face on TV delivering health advice with that signature Texas twang. For the thousands of students he trained, it may be his look of pride when they got the answer right.
I first met Dr. Duke when I was still a resident at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He was giving the commencement address to the graduating surgery residents and, to me, he just seemed larger than life. A few years later, I was interviewing for ...
The first time I met Dr. Duke was in August of 2001. I was a brand new attending and the hospital had just reopened after Tropical Storm Allison. I had been on the job maybe 10 days and was staffing the trauma side. I didn’t know anyone yet, and someone said, "Hey, there’s Dr. Red Duke."
Many people may not know Dr. Duke was an ordained minister. He had performed wedding ceremonies in his life, but when one of them went up in flames, he swore he’d never marry another couple. When Michelle [McNutt, M.D., fellow UTHealth trauma surgeon] and I were planning our wedding, ...
Years ago, the Campus hosted a contest that asked employees to team up and dress a pink flamingo in a way that represented their department. The Life Flight team knew we had to make the flamingo look like Dr. Duke. After all, we were here because of his ideals and his mission to provide even better ...
When I first met Dr. Duke, I noticed something very unique about him right way. He had an amazing ability and willingness to talk with the staff and patients on a deeper, more intimate level. He saw his medical vocation and his work as a call to service. Over the years, I witnessed profound ...
I was among his last patients. And, like thousands before me, Dr. Duke saved my life. On July 3, 2013, I was involved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident and found myself, by God’s grace, being ‘Life Flighted’ to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. Against all odds, with incredible skill and ...
I had worked with Dr. Duke for 17 years before his health started to decline. But it was during his final months when we really became buds. I would visit him each evening and he’d tell me stories. Even then, Dr. Duke was preaching, teaching and winking. One evening, Dr. Duke told me all ...
There’s no denying Dr. Duke had a way with words. His outlandish phrases to colleagues and students made such an impact that they have been affectionately coined “Dukeisms.” Here are some of our favorites: “Stay in the high grass and don’t raise your head in the same place twice.” ...
On Aug. 18, 1983, Hurricane Alicia was heading toward the Gulf Coast. It was my first hurricane as a Memorial Hermann Life Flight® pilot and we had three AS355 Twinstar helicopters to evacuate to a hangar in Spring, Texas, that could withstand 150 mph winds. I was on duty at Hermann Hospital ...
Although Red is remembered for numerous roles he played at our hospital and in the community – surgeon, TV personality and friend (among many others) – perhaps he is most remembered for his role as a teacher. Anyone who saw Red in action knew he meant business when it came to teaching ...