At the beginning of 2022, Texas Biomed launched a new community outreach campaign, #Stand4Science, aimed at raising awareness and support for biomedical research. The campaign helped provide timely information to citizens and local leaders that resulted in the San Antonio City Council and Bexar County Commissioners Court funding the Institute’s $10 million and $3.5 million requests, respectively, for critical campus infrastructure improvements.
The campaign included storytelling and messaging through public presentations, social media, digital advertising, news coverage and videos. Supporters from across the city shared personal stories, pictures with #Stand4Science signs and videos of how biomedical research, including with laboratory animals, has benefited human health.
The effort attracted enthusiastic participation from partners far and wide, such as Texas Research & Technology Foundation in San Antonio and Dr. Peter Hotez at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. A special thanks to Texas Biomed team members Jackie Ward, Pam Futch and her son and Dr. Ricardo Carrion, Jr. and his son for going the extra mile to share powerful video messages. Jenna Saucedo-Herrera, a Texas Biomed trustee and President/CEO of greater:SATX, also lent her voice to the video campaign. Watch their amazing 1-minute spots at txbiomed.org/stand4science.
In February, the #Stand4Science message came across loud and clear in the San Antonio City Council chambers during its vote to grant Texas Biomed $10 million in federal pandemic emergency funding. The mayor and many councilmembers shared strong sentiments about why they supported the request and Texas Biomed.
“This is an extremely important institution, not just for the City of San Antonio, but for the world,” said Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “It is through research like that that has saved countless lives, and I will be one of those that follows the science. I know we are sensitive and we are seeking to be as humane in that research as possible, which is also why I support this investment.”
In June, Bexar County followed suit, providing $3.5 million from its federal pandemic response funds. Together, the $13.5 million will support critical infrastructure, reinforcing campus resiliency, safety and security. These funds further leverage the Institute’s ongoing capital campaign, which aims to double the size of the faculty and staff, and construct new facilities and research labs. Fully realized, the expanded Institute is expected to generate $3.2 billion in regional economic impact.
Throughout the year, the #Stand4Science campaign has continued to grow and evolve. Texas Biomed established the annual #Stand4Science Award. The inaugural awards were presented to the City of San Antonio and Bexar County in recognition of their strong, evidence-based leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. City and county leaders accepted the awards at Texas Biomed’s 2022 Global Health Symposium in April.
This story appeared in the Summer 2022 edition of TxBiomed magazine. See more stories from TxBiomed here.