Alumnus receives TCOMAAsAfs first award for humanitarian service
Gil Scarnati, DO (’90), has earned the first Dean’s Award for Humanitarian Service presented by the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine to recognize TCOM alumni who distinguish themselves through outstanding personal and professional achievements and humanitarian service.
As a practicing primary care physician, Scarnati treated HIV/AIDS patients in Dallas and also conducted several HIV-related research projects and drug trials in an ongoing effort to promote the best possible quality of life for his patients. Often he saw patients who could not pay for his services.
Scarnati now has a rare degenerative disease, nemaline rod myopathy, and had to give up his practice.
"This truly broke my heart, because I realized there was no coming back," Scarnati said. "I enjoyed teaching my patients – helping allay their fears by answering their questions and providing information that would help them manage their condition. In retrospect, I think that which amazed me the most was the impact one can have on someone else’s life."
He has returned to the Health Science Center to pursue a PhD in immunology and neurosciences in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences and recently made provisions to provide a $75,000 TCOM scholarship to a deserving physically handicapped student.