2022 Annual Report

Dr. Steven Berk

After giving a zoom lecture in his office, Dr. Steven Berk began experiencing chest pain. When the chest pain began, as Dean of the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine, and a trained physician himself, Dr. Berk knew he needed to act fast. He was quickly moved to the catheter lab, where it was discovered, he had a 5-vessel blockage. It is rare to survive with five blocked arteries but with bypass surgery performed by Dr. Ralph Paone, Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Berk lives to tell the story!

Emma Gast

In the last 40 years, 5 children have been diagnosed with Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma, internationally. Thirteen-year-old Emma Gast is one of them, and she conquered it with help from UMC Physicians and the UMC Cancer Center! Aside from being a cheerleader, Emma had just begun participating in cross country—that is when she started experiencing severe back and neck pain and, shortly after, would learn of her diagnosis. Now she is cancer-free and so grateful to be back…back to school, back to her friends and back to her passion for cheerleading!

Morgan King

When Morgan was born, she was diagnosed with tracheomalacia and laryngomalacia, multiple brain and spine abnormalities, as well as esophageal strictures and a heart murmur. She had a two-month NICU stay, during which her parents knew she was in great hands. At just 10 months old, Morgan has undergone 12 surgeries; the most recent one was to repair her tethered spinal cord… but despite all these challenges, Morgan is a happy, active baby! Her parents, Allison and Christopher, continue to take her to follow up visits with multiple care providers in the UMC and Texas Tech Physicians family.

Jana Lowdermilk

Jana Lowdermilk woke up to sharp pain in her back after a late night working on an insurance policy for a client. She made an appointment with her Primary Care Provider (PCP) who ordered an MRI of her back, revealing two herniated discs. The day Jana went to UMCP Neurosurgery, she could not stand long enough to fill out the paperwork. UMC Neurosurgeon, Mark D’Alise, asked Jana, “Are you ready to get better?” and surgery was scheduled for the following week. Jana is now back to her passion — running her insurance business and attending her stepdaughter’s cheer competitions — something she had missed due to pain but now can truly enjoy.

Dorothy Tavarez

Dorothy had always been proactive in her health. She started breast cancer screenings at the recommended age of 40. After attending UMC’s Ladies Night Out after-hours event for Lubbock ISD employees, her mammogram revealed an abnormality in her breast…Dorothy had breast cancer. Dorothy’s journey through treatment was not an easy one, but Dorothy fought with fervor and celebrated one year cancer free this February!

Taylee Watson

“I’m not done yet,” high school senior Taylee Watson said to her dad, while visions of her trauma went through her mind. While taking senior pictures with her show steer, it got spooked and took off, dragging Taylee 150 feet. After being helicoptered into UMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center, it became clear in everyone’s mind that Taylee’s leg may not be saved. Fortunately, Deepak Bharadia, Texas Tech Physicians Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, performed surgery to clean and treat her leg and thankfully was able to save it! Taylee is now back to her passion of showing livestock.

Back to top of page.