University Hospital Emergency Center Medical Director Dies

Dr. Michael Sanchez struck by a car while jogging Sunday afternoon

University Hospital Emergency Center Medical Director Michael J. Sanchez, MD was pronounced dead at University Hospital Sunday afternoon after being struck by a motor vehicle while jogging near the intersection of Bandera Road and Loop 1604.

Dr. Sanchez was named Medical Director of the Emergency Center (EC) in August of last year. He has been on the medical staff at University Hospital since 2006. “This is a shocking loss and a very sad time for all of us who knew him,” said University Health System President/CEO George B. Hernández, Jr. “In his short time in this leadership role, he made significant improvements in wait times, efficiency and overall customer service. He was a committed member of the master facility planning team and an advocate for improving the EC environment for staff and patients alike. His leadership, clinical skills and commitment to our mission earned him the respect of his colleagues at the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio and here at University Health System.”

“Mike was a beloved figure, a passionate worker, a great clinician and a wonderful teacher,” added Ronald Stewart, MD, University Hospital Trauma Medical Director and Interim Chair of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Department of Surgery. “He is, and will continue to be, greatly missed by his friends, colleagues and family.”

Dr. Sanchez graduated from the University of New Mexico Medical School in 1990. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he completed his Emergency Medicine Residency in 1994. From 1996-1998 he served as the Research Director of the San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium Emergency Medicine Program. He went on to become the Director of the Emergency Department of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. When he retired from the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Sanchez worked as the Director of Emergency Medicine at South East Baptist Hospital in San Antonio. He joined the faculty of UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2006, where has been the acting Chief of the Division of Emergency Medicine since August 2008.

“Dr. Sanchez has been a tireless leader and a dynamic force engaged in revitalizing the University Hospital Emergency Center and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio’s Division of Emergency Medicine,” Stewart said. “Our deepest sympathies are with his family,” added Greg Rufe, University Hospital Administrator. “This is a tremendous loss for them, the hospital and the entire community. He had a vision for improved emergency care beyond our four walls.”

Dr. Sanchez received numerous honors and awards for scholarship, service and teaching. As a medical student, Mike was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. During medical school he received the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association Senior Student Achievement Award and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine Outstanding Service Award. He was awarded the San Antonio Emergency Medicine Clinical Excellence Award during residency. Following residency he was recognized on two separate occasions as the Clinical Teacher of the Year.

“His great passion for his work, compassion for his patients and friendliness even under stress made him a role model for all of us. He will be missed greatly by many,” added Hernández.

He is survived by his wife Apelle and two daughters, Carla and Suszie. We will send out a further notice when memorial plans are finalized.

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