Army Veteran Roy Cadwalder recently stunned his Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center physician with a very special but unique honor. The surprise? He named his newly born calf after her.

Cadwalder is a farmer from Cleveland, Texas. He named his newest calf after his primary care doctor, Barbara Trautner, to thank her for the excellent care she has provided to him for more than 20 years.

“I have always adored Dr. Trautner,” said Cadwalder, who served in the Medical Corps in Vietnam. “She has been my doctor since right after she got out of med school. She’s taken excellent care of me over the years. I wanted to honor her and I thought having one of my precious cows named after her would make her smile.”

Calf born on his appointment date with Trautner

Trautner is an infectious diseases clinician-investigator who is also affiliated with Baylor College of Medicine. At Houston VA, she works with the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt).

Trautner: “I know how much his calves mean to him.”

She has two productive branches of investigation, one in health services research and one in microbiology translational research, both linked by a unifying focus on urinary tract infection.

When Cadwalder had a new calf born in his herd on the exact day of his most recent medical appointment with Trautner, he decided to name her “Barbara.”

“This honor is written on my heart.”

Trautner was surprised and thrilled to hear about her new namesake.

“This honor is written on my heart. It really has been a privilege caring for Mr. Cadwalder over the years. I know him well enough to know how much his calves mean to him,” said Trautner, who is also an educator, mentor and academic program administrator.

She is currently the director of Research Administration in the Department of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine, a co-program director of the NHLBI T32 Training Program in Cardiovascular Surgery, and the director of the IQuESt Surgical Health Services Academy for Research and Education.

For Cadwalder, naming the new calf after Trautner was an easy decision.

“It’s always a sign of love to name your little one after someone in your family, and I consider Dr. Trautner to be a part of my family,” said Cadwalder.

By Maureen Dyman is communications director at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center

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Published on Apr. 17, 2022

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