UH appoints Fertitt Family College of Medicine after a $ 50 million donation from a Houston businessman

UH appoints Fertitt Family College of Medicine after a $ 50 million donation from a Houston businessman

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – The University of Houston School of Medicine is officially named after a multi-million dollar donation from prominent Houston businessman Tilman Fertitta.

Fertitta, owner of the Houston Rockets and longtime chairman of the UH System Board of Regents, and his family pledged $ 50 million to the University of Houston College of Medicine, the university said on Thursday.

The Faculty of Medicine was founded in 2019 with the mission of improving health care in poorly served urban and rural communities, where poor health outcomes often prevail.

SEE ALSO: The University of Houston unveils a rendition of the new College of Medicine

The university focuses on educating students dedicated to primary care and other necessary medical specializations.

An analysis from 2021 found that 249 of Texas’ 254 counties have areas with a shortage of primary care physicians. In 228 of them, the whole region has a shortage, almost double the amount observed in 2019.

Fertitta Family College of Medicine wants to address this by focusing on having at least half of its graduates choose primary care, with only about 20% of medical students doing so nationwide.

“Our family has such a passion for this medical school and its commitment to health equity, so everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code or socioeconomic status, has the same opportunity to be as healthy as possible,” Fertitta said in a press release. . “I hope Tilman J. Fertitta of the Family College of Medicine will change the game for Texas health and well-being by improving access to quality health care, expanding medical knowledge, and improving patient care through health research and healthcare. . “

Here is a breakdown of the $ 50 million donation:

  • $ 10 million funds five subsidized seats for faculty staff who are considered national stars in their fields with a focus on health care innovation.
  • $ 10 million sets up a subsidized scholarship fund to support subsidized graduate research / medical student scholarships.
  • The $ 10 million will cover the initial cost of the Fertitta Family College of Medicine to improve research activities, including facilities, equipment, program costs, and graduate research / scholarships.
  • $ 20 million will be created by the Dean Fertitt Endowment Fund to support research support activities.

The portion of the donation that funds the subsidized faculty hiring seats will be matched one-on-one under UH’s “$ 100 million call” for seats and professorships, doubling the subsidized director to $ 20 million.

With the announcement, UH has launched a $ 100 million college funding campaign to support scholarships, faculty recruitment, and operational needs for equipment, programs, student success initiatives, and more.

“Tilman Fertitta and his family have made a visionary investment, so it is appropriate that this new, ambitious and progressive medical school bears the name Fertitta. It will have a remarkable and lasting impact on Houston and the world. The longevity of the medical school is consolidated for future generations, ”said UH President Renu Khator.

Fertitta Family College of Medicine will have an estimated regional economic impact of $ 377 million by 2029 and, according to UH, will expand health-related research at the University of Houston by an estimated 400% over the next 30 years.

The first two classes of medical students attended classes at the Health 2 building, which is the temporary home of the medical school, until the construction of a new $ 80 million building is completed this summer.

The three-story building is located on 43 acres of previously undeveloped campus, which will be part of a future life sciences complex along Martin Luther King Boulevard.

This is not the first building in UH ​​with the name Fertitty. In 2016, UH athletics donated $ 20 million to help transform the basketball arena into the Fertitta Center.

In addition to the Houston Rockets, Fertitta owns restaurant giant Landry’s and casinos and Golden Nugget hotels.

SEE ALSO: A view inside the Fertitt Center in UH

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