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Ciro Valent Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M.

Obituary for Ciro Valent Sumaya, M.D., M.P.H.T.M.

August 1, 1941 - December 1, 2019
San Antonio, Texas | Age 78


Ciro Valent Sumaya M.D., M.P.H.T.M., age 78 entered into eternal rest with his Lord and Savior on December 1, 2019. Born the son of Jorge Sumaya Longoria and Irene Valent Sumaya from Brownsville, Texas. Ciro was a direct descendant of the pioneer land grant families of Valent, Lieck, and Longoria's of Port Isabel, Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Tamps, Mexico. Ciro graduated as Valedictorian from Brownsville High School and was a Phi Beta Kappa and high honors graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. While attending medical school at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston he met his beloved wife Carmen Gonzalez. They were blessed with three children, Ciro V. Sumaya II, Jaime Andres Sumaya and Miguel Angel Sumaya.

After earning his M. D., Ciro completed a rotating internship at The University of Southern California followed by service in the U.S. Air Force as a General Medical Officer. He then completed a dual pediatric infectious disease postgraduate fellowship and Master in Public Health and Tropical Medicine degree at Tulane University School of Medicine and School of Public Health. He began his academic medical career at the School of Medicine at The University of California at Los Angeles, followed by an appointment at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA) where he obtained the rank of Professor of Pediatrics and Chief, Infectious Diseases Division, Pediatrics Department. Dr. Sumaya's biomedical research led him to be a leading physician-scientist in viral infections in children. He published 82 articles and 26 book chapters in the field of infectious disease. His comprehensive investigations of infectious mononucleosis in children are major contributions to medical literature. Based on these research efforts, Dr. Sumaya made numerous scientific presentations and served on research advisory committees and study groups.

Dr. Sumaya also served as the Associate Dean for Affiliated Programs and Continuing Medical Education at UTHSCSA and initiated the expansion of continuing medical education programs for health professionals in South Texas and other parts of the State. His efforts led to the development of the medical school and health science center for community and social needs. This included his role in developing the federally funded Area Health Education Center (AHEC) of South Texas which covered the most impoverished region of the state. After receiving a federal appointment to the Presidential Task Force on National Health Care Reform in Washington, D.C., he was able to participate in the debates and policy decisions of the country's health care reform issues. Dr. Sumaya received a Presidential appointment in 1994 to serve as Administrator of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He was the first Hispanic appointed to head a major federal public health service agency. The Secretary of Health and Human Services subsequently appointed Dr. Sumaya as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health to lead the interagency initiative on the Future of Academic Health Centers. In 1997, he was appointed Founding Dean of the School of Rural Public Health and Cox Endowed Chair in Medicine within the Texas A&M University System Health Science Center in College Station, Texas. He served on the board of Trustees of Ascension Health, the largest nonprofit health care system in the country and major force in health care for all. Dr. Sumaya also served on numerous federal and national health-related committees, review groups, and panels throughout his career. More recently he was appointed by the Governor of Texas to the Gulf Initiative Research Board and severed on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr. Sumaya had a passion for collecting Latin American art, listening to classical music, family genealogy and playing the piano. Dr. Sumaya was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Yolanda S. Vega Hidalgo and two of his children, Ciro II and Miguel Angel. He is survived by his wife of 52 years Carmen, their son Jaime and their grandson Diego Sumaya. He is also survived by his brother George Valent Sumaya of Port Arthur, Texas, and several nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff at Amada Home Health Care and Christus VNA Hospice. A special thanks to Dr. Sumaya's caregivers, Maria Ortiz, Gina Rodriquez, Lacy Buenfil and Avril McClean for their kindness and loving care.

"The Health of One is Admirable; The Health of All, Supreme" ---- Ciro Valent Sumaya M.D. M.P.H.T.M.
In honor of Dr. Ciro V. Sumaya, donations may be made in his memory to the Ciro V. Sumaya Endowment Fund at the Texas A&M School of Public Health.

Donations may be made to the Texas A&M Foundation:
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, Inc. 912 Killian Hill Road S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047 (

The family will receive friends from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Friday, December 6, 2019, at Porter Loring Mortuary at 1101 McCullough Ave. San Antonio, TX 78212.

1:30 PM

Interment will follow at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery at 1701 Austin Hwy. San Antonio, TX 78218.
Pallbearers will be Tobin Ross, Benjamin Ross, Carlos M. Gonzalez, Fernando Gomez, and Troy G. Ross Jr. and Alejandro Aguilar
Honorary Pallbearers will be Dr. John Menchaca, Mr. Alonso Zamora Jr., Dr. Efren Vega, Cipriano Gonzalez, Manuel Garcia

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • Lewy Body Dementia Association
    912 Killian Hill Road S.W.,
    Lilburn, GA 30047

Arrangements By

Porter Loring Mortuary

1101 McCullough Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
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