Houston Methodist Hospital has received an anonymous gift to name the Walter Tower 10th Floor Cardiac Intensive Care Unit in memory of Dr. Mark Hausknecht, who was tragically shot to death while riding his bicycle to work last year.


Hausknecht’s death on July 20, 2018, drew an outpouring of heartfelt condolences from former president George H.W. Bush, patients, colleagues and students he worked with for nearly four decades.


Hausknecht’s impact on the Houston Methodist community stretched far beyond his role as a cardiologist. He was a beloved husband and father, and to all who knew him, he left a positive impression — one filled with warmth and kindness.


“This generous gift honoring Dr. Hausknecht is a true testament to him,” said Marc L. Boom, M.D., president and CEO of Houston Methodist. “Mark was known for his compassion as a physician and for his generosity of spirit to his patients. It’s fitting that others, even those who didn’t know him personally, could sense the impact he made as a physician and as a human being.”


The anonymous contribution made in his honor not only named a new cardiac ICU unit, the Mark J. Hausknecht, M.D. Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at the Walter Tower, but also will support other areas within the Houston Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center, including physician education and training in interventional structural heart disease, telemedicine services for cardiovascular patients in remote and rural areas, and pre- and post-procedural support for patients who live outside of the Texas Medical Center.


An additional component of the anonymous gift was matched by Houston Methodist board member, Mary Daffin and her husband Sam, whose commitment created the Mary A. and M. Samuel Daffin, Sr. Centennial Chair in Anesthesia and Critical Care, which will be matched by Paula and Rusty Walter’s Centennial Chair Challenge to create the 22nd of 50 planned chairs in honor of Houston Methodist’s first 100 years of service. In total, including all matching gifts, the impact of commitments honoring Dr. Hausknecht will reach $3.5 million.


“It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since his passing,” said William A. Zoghbi, M.D., chair of the Department of Cardiology at Houston Methodist. “It’s an honor to walk the halls of the cardiac intensive care unit named in Dr. Hausknecht’s memory, and we proudly celebrate his life and legacy by continuing to offer the same compassionate care he provided day in and day out in his namesake cardiac ICU.”


For more information about Houston Methodist, visit www.houstonmethodist.org.