After Laredo Medical Center’s first positive COVID-19 patient in March 2020, it quickly became the epicenter of the pandemic. As cases continued to rise, Dr. Ricardo Cigarroa made the difficult decision to close his cardiology practice and shift his focus to fighting COVID-19 head on. Affectionately called the “Dr. Fauci of South Texas,” Dr. Cigarroa turned his practice into a COVID clinic, made house calls, and accepted all patients who needed care. “We all took an oath and we took that oath seriously. We will go where the illness is, even if it means that the illness might overtake us.”
Dr. Cigarroa has also been an advocate and leading voice in Laredo, Texas, educating community members in both English and Spanish on how to prevent COVID-19 infections and holding political leaders accountable for properly protecting Texans during the state’s second wave earlier this year. In a moving tribute, Dr. Cigarroa’s Physicians for Human Rights Award was presented to him by his brother, Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, head of pediatric transplant surgery at the University of Texas Health Center and chair of the Ford Foundation’s board of trustees.
Miss the livestream of PHR’s 2021 gala? Watch the whole show here!