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S. Ward Casscells Sworn in as Assistant Secretary of Defense
Senator Hutchison congratulates 'the right person at the right time for this position'
The United States Senate unanimously confirmed S. Ward Casscells III, M.D., vice president for biotechnology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, to be Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. As Distinctions went to press, he was sworn in April 16 in Washington, D.C.
In a statement, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, congratulated Casscells. “With his medical background, his record of leadership and accomplishment, and his service as a veteran of Iraq, I believe Dr. Casscells is the right person at the right time for this position,” she said.
“His record is filled with amazing academic and personal accomplishments. But when you look at Dr. Casscells’ life as a whole, there is one overriding theme – service to others,” Sen. Hutchison said. “On behalf of my fellow Texans, I want to personally thank him and his family for their service and sacrifice and congratulate them on his confirmation.”
UT Health Science Center President James T. Willerson, M.D., said, “We are very proud of Dr. Casscells. We shall miss him, but he will serve as an inspiring and dedicated leader in Washington, D.C., and this new assignment does show once again his commitment to others and our country.”
Casscells is taking a leave of absence from his duties at the UT Health Science Center and as associate director for cardiology research in the Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital. He is also the John Edward Tyson Distinguished Professor of Medicine and a professor of cardiology at the UT Medical School at Houston.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs is responsible for overall supervision of the health and medical affairs of the Department of Defense. The Secretary serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Defense for all DoD health policies, programs and activities, and exercises oversight of all DoD health resources.
The White House first announced on Feb. 22 President Bush’s intention to nominate Casscells to replace William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D.
By David R. Bates, Institutional Advancement