Occidental Petroleum recognized for $4 Million gift to fund THI’s cardiovascular research

Houston, TX (February 3, 2015) – Officials with the Texas Heart Institute (THI) at CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center announced today a gift from Houston-based Occidental Petroleum Corporation of $4 million to support research to prevent, treat and cure cardiovascular disease.

“We are very grateful to Occidental for their generous gift that will help us change and save many lives,” said THI President James T. Willerson, MD. “We applaud Occidental for recognizing that heart disease is the No. 1 threat to the health of their workforce and to the people of the world.”

“It is a tremendous and meaningful way to start a new year,” added THI founder and president-emeritus Denton A. Cooley, MD. “Occidental is known in the energy business for delivering results that add value, as is the Texas Heart Institute in its field. We are proud and thankful for their generous support.”

Occidental’s gift is to be paid over four years, with the first $1 million already in hand. It will help support THI research that includes the development of a total artificial heart, efforts to create whole hearts using an individual patient’s own adult stem cells, work to “knock out” the most dangerous genes that cause heart attacks, heart failure and other forms of cardiovascular disease. It will also aid THI’s efforts to address the increasing incidence of heart disease in women and prevent sudden cardiac death in young people.


About the Texas Heart Institute
The Texas Heart Institute (www.texasheart.org), founded by world-renowned cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Denton A. Cooley in 1962, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the devastating toll of cardiovascular disease through innovative and progressive programs in research, education and improved patient care. Together with its clinical partner, CHI St. Luke’s Health-Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center, it has been ranked among the top cardiovascular centers in the United States by U.S. News & World Report’s annual guide to “America’s Best Hospitals” for the past 24 years. The Texas Heart Institute is also affiliated with the University of Texas (UT) System, which promotes collaboration in cardiovascular research and education among UT and THI faculty at the Texas Heart Institute and other UT components.