The Man Behind the Maley Conference Room

The name “Maley” refers to more than just a conference room on the 5th floor of the Denton A. Cooley Building. The Maley Conference Room, named for THI’s first President and CEO, Gerald “Jerry” A. Maley, was dedicated in 2002 to honor a man who nurtured THI for nearly three decades as it developed into one of the largest cardiovascular care centers in the world.

In 1969, Dr. Cooley recruited Maley from Baylor College of Medicine to serve as treasurer and administrator for THI’s cardiovascular surgical service. Cooley and Maley shared a tiny office next to the operating suite at St. Luke’s until 1972, when Maley was given his own office after an expansion project was completed. A certified public accountant, Maley also managed Cooley’s personal investments, most of which were properties. In 1986, around the time when THI began to operate more independently from St. Luke’s, Maley became President of THI. He played an instrumental role at THI during a key period of growth, helping to establish THI’s Board of Trustees—which he proudly joined in 1989—its foundation and its Professional Staff.

Maley secured logistical and financial support for many of THI’s clinical research projects, thus helping to fulfill Cooley’s vision of creating an institution dedicated to the prevention and treatment of heart disease. He was largely responsible for the creation of THI’s Cullen Cardiovascular Surgical Research Laboratories in 1972 and, later, the planning and construction of THI’s facilities update in 1989. As noted on the dedication outside the Maley Conference Room, “Jerry would have been especially pleased with the … Denton A. Cooley Building, and it is only appropriate that this conference Room is named in his honor.”

In addition to his roles at THI, Maley was chairman of the Board of Directors of LUXTEC Corporation, a medical device company in Sturbridge, MA, and served on the boards of the Theatre Under the Stars, Society for the Performing Arts, St. Thomas High School, and the Denton A. Cooley Foundation. He was one of only three non-physician members of the Denton A. Cooley Cardiovascular Society.

Maley was known for his warmth and for living life to the fullest. After Maley’s death in 1995 at the age of 64, Cooley wrote, “I will miss Jerry for his friendship, his decency, and his tireless efforts on our behalf.”

Image: A portrait of Gerald “Jerry” Maley hanging just outside the Maley Conference Room of the Denton A. Cooley Building.