2018 Honoree Debra Caudy

Community Outreach Award

Debra Caudy, M.D.
Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, 29 Acres
Medical Oncologist, Dallas, TX.

Growing up in upstate New York Debra developed a passion for the piano leading her to acceptance at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Despite her passion for the piano she discovered she had a greater passion forpeople and shifted her training to pursue a career in medicine. After graduating with Honors from The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Dr. Caudy made it to Texas (as soon as she could) through her acceptance to the Internal Medicine residency and later Oncology fellowship programs at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Dr. Caudy is board certified in the specialties of Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.

After starting the first Texas Oncology, P.A. practice in Denton, Texas she continued to care for patients in a growing and hectic oncology practice in Denton. Later she was drawn back the Southwestern Medical School in Dallas where she narrowed her practice to the specialty of breast cancer. Colleagues and patients agree that she was her practice was characterized by true compassion for her patients and an unwavering commitment towards the highest standard of care.

Debra’s fourth child, Jon, was early on diagnosed with moderate to severe autism. Debra retired from her medical practice wanting to fully support her son and her 3 beautiful daughters. Under the direction and in cooperation with some remarkable BCBA’s she has taken on responsibility to teach and directly manage his educational programming ensuring that he continues to make meaningful progress.

Together with her husband of 29 years, Clay Heighten, M.D. they have funded the Jon Brigham Heighten endowed scholar at UT Southwestern which is dedicated to recruiting and funding new scientists to pursue research in Autism Spectrum Disease. Clay and Debra have also provided funding directly to researchers and other scientific projects in autism research at UT Southwestern.

Debra was also integral to working with Dr. Wildenthal and his team at Southwestern in their successful request for funding for the Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities (CADD) at UT Southwestern. Wanting to continue to make a difference in the lives of people living with a disability in their own community, they provided a matching fund to the 2012 Highland Park Scots girls soccer team who ultimately raised over $50,000 for the Special Education program at Highland Park High School.

Looking for options for their son, Clay and Debra recently founded 29 Acres who’s mission is to improve the quality of life for adults living with autism by creating an enriched residential community in Crossroads, TX.