Dr. S. Ward
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A cardiologist who served with the Army in Iraq and later was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, died on October 14, 2012 at home surrounded by his family, he was 60 years old.
Known to his friends as Trip, he was the John E. Tyson Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Public Health and Vice President for External Affairs at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston. He was also a senior scholar at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. Dr. Casscells was born March 18, 1952, in Wilmington, Delaware.
Dr. Casscells was graduated from Yale College in 1974 and from Harvard Medical School (magna cum laude) in 1979. He trained in medicine and cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He volunteered for the Army reserve at age 53 after being diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer at age 49. He served in Iraq and, after returning from his deployment, was appointed by President George W. Bush to the post of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. His book, When It Mattered Most, a tribute to medics killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, was published in 2009.
Dr. Casscells received the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Public Service Medal, as well as the Army's decoration for Distinguished Civilian Service, the Army's Order of Military Medical Merit, and the General Maxwell Thurman Award. In addition, he received the Department of Veterans' Affairs Commendation, the Surgeon General's Medallion from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Memorial Hermann Health System's Hero Award, the 2010 Pike Humanitarian Prize, and the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award in the Life Sciences from the Houston Technology Center.
Dr. Casscells is survived by his wife, the former Roxanne Bell; his sons, Samuel and Henry; and his daughter, Lillian. A service will be held at The Washington National Cathedral on November 16 at 11:00 am. The family will receive visitors at home following the service. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Helping a Hero, an organization that provides homes for wounded veterans at www.helpingahero.org, The Washington National Cathedral Earthquake Repair Fund, or The Prostate Cancer Research Project at MD Anderson Cancer Center c/o Dr. Christopher Logothetis.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Nov. 4, 2012