The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
When Laura Brooks Flawn, M.D., died in a motor vehicle accident four years ago, she was at the height of her career as an orthopaedic surgeon. At 48 she had made significant contributions to improving the treatment of scoliosis. She was interested in the problems of the female athlete and served as a physician consultant for the women's teams at UT Austin. In her private practice she specialized in diseases of the spine, scoliosis and spine trauma. She held many professional society and association offices.
The daughter of former UT Austin and UT San Antonio President Peter T. Flawn, Ph.D., Dr. Laura Flawn was a dedicated and innovative spine surgeon who was highly esteemed by her colleagues. She was a 1974 Phi Beta Kappa honors graduate of UT Austin and received her medical degree in 1977 from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio with Alpha Omega Alpha honors. She completed her internship, residency and fellowship at three prestigious New York hospitals.
After her death, Dr. Flawn's family created the Laura B. Flawn, M.D., Lectureship in Diseases of the Spine and Spine Trauma. The annual lecture enriches the academic environment of the department of orthopaedics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) and the South Texas orthopaedics community.
Dr. Peter Flawn; his wife, Priscilla; their daughter, Tyrrell Flawn; and Tyrrell's husband, John P. Howe, III, M.D., established the lectureship. Dr. Howe, former president of the UTHSCSA, is the president and chief executive officer of Project HOPE, an organization dedicated to health care advances around the world.
Three preeminent speakers in the field have accepted the invitation to visit the UTHSCSA as part of the Flawn Lectureship.
"The Flawn Lectureship brings an internationally renowned orthopaedic surgeon for a day of one-on-one teaching sessions with residents and medical students, culminated by a lecture for the entire San Antonio orthopaedic community," said Ronald P. Williams, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chairman of the department of orthopaedics. "We have had fantastic people deliver lectures on cutting-edge, state-of-the-art care of the spine."
The department of orthopaedics at the UTHSCSA is well known for total shoulder replacement surgery, innovative bone salvage surgery in cancer patients, orthopaedic trauma care, hand surgery and much more. The Flawn Lectureship serves to strengthen an already solid department and group of community surgeons by training the orthopaedic leaders of tomorrow.
During the 18 years of her practice, Dr. Laura Flawn performed three to four surgeries per week, many lasting as long as 16 hours. Even so, she maintained a busy practice seeing patients in clinic. "Those who are following Dr. Flawn in our residency program have big shoes to fill, and we thank the Flawn Family for making possible a tremendous annual educational opportunity," Dr. Williams said.
The Laura B. Flawn, M.D., Lectureship in Diseases of the Spine and Spine Trauma is invested in the Long Term Fund. As the endowment grows, one goal is to create an endowed chair in orthopaedic spine surgery to help support the recruitment of an internationally renowned spine surgeon to the UTHSCSA. Dr. and Mrs. Flawn have generously agreed to help the department of orthopaedics to reach this goal.