Holy Cow! Veteran names baby cow after Baylor / VA Doctor

Army Veteran Roy Cadwalder recently stunned his Houston VA physician, also a Baylor College of Medicine faculty member, with a very special, but unique, honor. The surprise?

Cadwalder, a farmer from Cleveland, Texas – the home of Sam Houston National Forest, named his newly born calf after his primary care doctor, Dr. Barbara Trautner, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Surgery at Baylor, to thank her for the excellent care she has provided to him for more than 20 years.

Barbara the cow.

Barbara the cow.

“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 and has 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.”

Today, Trautner is an infectious diseases clinician-investigator with Baylor, and at the Houston VA, she works with the Center for Innovations in Quality, Effectiveness, and Safety (IQuESt). She has two productive branches of investigation, one in health services research and one in microbiology translational research.

When Cadwalder had a new calf born in his herd a few days after his most recent medical appointment with Trautner, he decided to name her “Barbara.”

Calves are the future of the herd, so farmers are committed to making sure that every calf is healthy and safe from harm.

Dr. Barbara Trautner.

Dr. Barbara Trautner.

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, and I know him well enough to know how much his calves mean to him,” said Trautner, who also is an educator, mentor, and academic program administrator. She is currently the deputy associate chief of staff for clinical research and the director of the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center NODES Cooperative Studies Program.

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.

Contributed by Maureen Dyman, Houston VA communications director