Volunteer Spotlight

Kneeland Youngblood on His Role With the President's Advisory Board

Trained doctor and accomplished businessman shares his financial acumen and health care perspective with UT Southwestern

As a doctor-businessman-powerbroker, Kneeland Youngblood is the ultimate high-flying hyphenate. Traveling easily in circles of bold-faced names, he maintains a laser-like focus on generating top-quartile returns and providing opportunity to the less fortunate.

Kneeland Youngblood
Kneeland Youngblood Provided by Kneeland Youngblood

A longtime supporter of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Mr. Youngblood generously supported construction of Dr. Donald Seldin Plaza, the outdoor space that celebrates the memory of the educator and physician regarded as the institution’s intellectual father.

In addition to his giving, he serves on the President’s Advisory Board, where he has led the Finance Committee for the past six years. Representing a diverse group of civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the President’s Advisory Board provides UT Southwestern’s President, Daniel K. Podolsky, M.D., and the institution’s leadership, with guidance on opportunities and challenges facing the Medical Center. Mr. Youngblood is also an Honorary Trustee of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

After graduating from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in politics/science and human affairs, Mr. Youngblood’s first experience with UT Southwestern was as a student. He graduated with a medical degree and served in the institution's emergency department.

In 1998, he co-founded Pharos Capital Group, where he currently serves as Chairman and CEO. With more than $1.2 billion in mangaged assets, the company’s investments in value-based care incorporate social determinants of health care and aim to redress gaping inequities in rural and urban community health care. Underscoring Mr. Youngblood’s commitment to diversity, 77% of the employees at one of his funds are women. Most are people of color.

One of his most treasured personal objects is a program from the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address. One of only four existing copies, Mr. Youngblood keeps the artifact in his office. To him, it is a reminder of “the challenges this nation has faced, and its ability to overcome obstacles and succeed.”

Scanned image of the program for the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
Program for the dedication of the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Source image: Library of Congress

Reflecting on his lifelong commitment to increasing diversity and minority access, Mr. Youngblood shares how UT Southwestern has impacted his family and why he supports the institution with his volunteer leadership and philanthropy.

How has UT Southwestern impacted you and your family?

UT Southwestern Medical Center has definitely impacted me and my family in a positive way. I met my wife, Sharon, when I was attending medical school here. Sharon was pursuing her postdoctoral research here as well. We’ve been married for 36 years. Fortunately for me, UT Southwestern brought us together.

Kneeland Youngblood and his family
Kneeland Youngblood and his wife, Sharon, (third and fourth from left) with their family at the wedding of their daughter, Devon, held at the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas. Provided by Kneeland Youngblood

What distinguishes this institution as a leader in academic medicine?

UT Southwestern’s focus on innovative research is what distinguishes it as a national leader. It’s focus on research has attracted extraordinary leaders, clinicians, researchers, and faculty members who have been awarded Nobel Prizes along with many other honors in the fields of medicine and science.

What do you find most engaging about the President's Advisory Board?

I have the opportunity to get an in-depth understanding of the complex nature of UT Southwestern and the delicate balance of providing expert care to the community in a way that addresses their health care needs in a fiscally responsible way.

“UT Southwestern’s focus on innovative research is what distinguishes it as a national leader.”

What have you learned about UT Southwestern?

I was surprised to learn the amount of care and compassion that UT Southwestern seeks to provide in addressing health care disparities among diverse members of the community. At the same time, UT Southwestern serves as a leader with regard to maintaining best medical practices along with conducting leading-edge research.

What has been your most memorable experience volunteering with UT Southwestern?

My most memorable experience has been witnessing the comprehensive and thoughtful approach to the COVID-19 pandemic – educating the advisory board, helping the community, and addressing misinformation with regard to the pandemic.

“I believe that I can get the best care in the world right here.”

Kneeland Youngblood

As a donor, why do you continue to give?

I continue to give to UT Southwestern because I believe in its mission of excellence in all aspects of clinical medicine, research, and teaching. I believe that I can get the best care in the world right here.

What is UT Southwestern's biggest contribution to the community?

UT Southwestern’s biggest contribution is serving as one of the leaders in the field of medicine that contributes to the entire community and positively impacts the lives of the poorest and wealthiest among us.

  • Dr. Podolsky holds the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Presidential Chair in Academic Administration and the Doris and Bryan Wildenthal Distinguished Chair in Medical Science.