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Life of Dr. Arthur E. Spohn, Medical Pioneer and Innovative Physician, Explored in New Biography October 22, 2018

(Corpus Christi, TX) – When Dr. Arthur E. Spohn opened the first hospital in Corpus Christi in 1905, who could have imagined his vision would grow into a health care system spanning 12 counties and touching the lives of generations of South Texans.

A new book from Texas A&M University Press entitled “Dr. Arthur Spohn – Surgeon, Inventor and Texas Medical Pioneer” is the first comprehensive biography of the doctor and explores the life and legacy of a medical figure who continues to loom large in the Coastal Bend.

Authors Jane Clements Monday, Frances Brannen Vick, and Charles W. Monday Jr., MD, illuminate the remarkable nineteenth-century story of a trailblazing physician who helped to modernize the practice of medicine in Texas.

“Dr. Spohn was a remarkable surgeon and spent from 1873-1913 serving the residents of South Texas. Little was known about him before we started our research and now after eight years we are pleased to have the chance to tell his story,” Author Jane Monday shared. “He was so much more than a surgeon. He was a medical pioneer.”

Dr. Spohn was unusually innovative for the time and exceptionally dedicated to improving medical care. Among his many surgical innovations was the development of a specialized tourniquet for “bloodless operations,” later adopted as a field instrument by militaries throughout the world. To this day, he holds the world record for the removal of the largest tumor—328 pounds—from a patient who fully recovered.

Recognizing the need for modern medical care in South Texas, Dr. Spohn, with the help of Alice King, raised funds to open the first hospital in Corpus Christi. Today, his name and institutional legacy live on in the region through the CHRISTUS Spohn Health System, the largest hospital system in South Texas.

“We are honored that these wonderful authors have chosen to research and shed more light on the life of Dr. Spohn,” said Karen Bonner, CHRISTUS Spohn Health System VP of Philanthropy. “His legacy has touched so many of our lives and I’m sure our community will enjoy learning more about his life and impact.”

This biography of a medical pioneer recreates for readers the medical, regional, and family worlds in which Spohn moved, making it an important contribution not only to the history of South Texas but also to the history of modern medicine.

Another book-signing event will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday Nov. 6th during the Nueces County Historical Society meeting at First Presbyterian Church.

For more information, please visit:

About the authors:
JANE CLEMENTS MONDAY is the author of numerous books and coauthor, with Frances Brannen Vick, of award-winning Petra’s Legacy: The South Texas Ranching Empire of Petra Vela and Mifflin Kenedy and Letters to Alice: Birth of the Kleberg-King Ranch Dynasty. She has served as chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents and mayor of Huntsville, Texas. She resides in Huntsville. FRANCES BRANNEN VICK is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Petra’s Legacy and Letters to Alice. She founded E-Heart Press and cofounded the University of North Texas Press. Vick has served as president of the Texas Institute of Letters, the Texas State Historical Association, and the Philosophical Society of Texas. She resides in Dallas. CHARLES W. MONDAY JR. holds an MD from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and practices general surgery in the Huntsville area.

About CHRISTUS Spohn:
CHRISTUS Spohn Health System is the region’s largest hospital system in South Texas, consisting of six hospital campuses throughout the Coastal bend, a Cancer Center and the new Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Family Health Center. The health system is consistently ranked as a healthcare leader in the area and has received national recognition for several pioneering programs, including trauma, cardiac care, clinical excellence and oncology. For more than 100 years, CHRISTUS Spohn has been distinguished by its high caliber staff and affiliated physicians, its comprehensive and innovative services, and its long history of responding to the needs of the community it serves. For additional information, visit our website at