TTUHSC Honors Distinguished Alumni and Welcomes New Students

The Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) will host, “You,” a celebration event to honor the 2017 Distinguished Alumni and welcome new students at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the American Windmill Museum, 1701 Canyon Lake Drive.
Guest speakers will be Texas Tech University (TTU) System Interim Chancellor and
TTUHSC President Tedd L. Mitchell, M.D., Steven Berk, M.D., TTUHSC executive vice
president, provost and School of Medicine dean, and Nancy Neal, former TTU System
Regent, School of Nursing graduate and recipient of the 2017 TTUHSC Presidential
Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor bestowed by the university, recognizing alumni who have made significant contributions to the health care profession. 
Nancy Neal, BSN, R.N., (School of Nursing, ’85) was appointed to the TTU System Board of Regents in 2009 for a six-year term. She addressed health care policies and advocacy during her role as president of the Texas Medical Association Alliance in 2000-2001. She served the American Medical Association Alliance (AMA) on the Legislative Committee. In 2004, Neal was named the AMA Alliance member for American Medical Political Action Committee. The following year, Gov. Rick Perry named her to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, where she was instrumental in getting the Doctor of Nursing Practice added for the state schools of nursing.
“This is our way of extending a warm welcome to our incoming students,” Mitchell said.
“We are grateful they have chosen to pursue their academic degrees at TTUHSC.
This event provides them with an opportunity to meet our outstanding alumni, who
are leaders in their fields, not only in our West Texas communities, but across the
country. This celebration will allow our students to learn about the impact made by those
who received an education at TTUHSC.”
Other Distinguished Alumni scheduled to attend the event include:
T. Celeste Napier, Ph.D., (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, ‘82/Doctor of Philosophy Award) pioneered the effects of opioids on neuronal activity within brain regions now known to regulate reward-motivated behavior. Her scientific research continues to focus on how the brain changes during drug and behavioral addictions.
Ryan Brewster, DDS, (School of Health Professions, ’17/Department of Health Care Management and Leadership Award)completed his Master of Science in Health Administration Program.He worked with TTUHSC’s Correctional Managed Health Care team and in 2014 was promoted to the Northern Regional Dental Director at TTUHSC. He continues to advocate for the implementation of telehealth technology in order to promote excellent oral health while streamlining and modernizing managed health care in correctional facilities.
Timothy Benton, M.D., FAAFP, (School of Medicine, ’94/School of Medicine Community Outreach Award)has served for six years as regional chair and residency program director in the Department of Family and Community Medicine at TTUHSC at the Permian Basin. In that time, the department tripled its size as one of the largest family medicine residency programs in Texas, including expansion with local and regional partnerships to Alpine, Andrews, Fort Stockton and Sweetwater through the development of a rural residency program.
John Griswold, M.D., (School of Medicine, Resident '86/Research Scientist Award)is Chair Emeritus of the Department of Surgery.In 1992, he established the Level 1 Trauma Center at University Medical Center and elevated the burn program to reach regional burn center status in 1993. Griswold served as chair for 19 years. He now focuses on his clinical efforts full time to care for patients with burn injuries and complex wounds. Partnering with industry and participating in complex drug trials in the critically ill and injured patients, set the foundation for the Clinical Research Institute.
§  Amy Thompson, M.D., (School of Medicine,'04/Distinguished Alumni Award)is a pediatrician at Texas Tech Physicians and CEO at Covenant Children’s. She leads one of only eight freestanding hospitals in Texas dedicated to children. Covenant Children’s cares for patients across West Texas and eastern New Mexico with a geographic service area of 35,000 square miles. Her goal is for Covenant Children’s to be the hub of hope and health for all children in the West Texas region. 
To read about the accomplishments of these and all 2017 Distinguished Alumni, visit

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