UTHealth School of Nursing Hosts 2017 PARTNERS Spring Luncheon
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Nursing hosted April 26 its annual PARTNERS (Providing Advancement Resources To Nursing Education, Research, and Students) Spring Luncheon at the River Oaks Country Club. Approximately 350 guests attended the event to help raise more than $200,000 to support nursing scholarships, faculty research grants and endowed professorships.
PARTNERS, an organization that supports UTHealth School of Nursing, was established in 1994 with the goal of raising funds and community support to provide nursing scholarships, student services, faculty research grants and endowed professorships. Since its inception, PARTNERS has raised more than $1.7 million and fully funded more than 100 nursing scholarships, more than 45 faculty research grants and four endowed professorships.
“I’m proud to be associated with PARTNERS and the amazing work they do to ensure that the school of nursing continues to advance the health and wellbeing of our community,” said Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., dean of the UTHealth School of Nursing. “Often, I travel and meet people on behalf of the school of nursing, and I’m asked about the wonderful work that PARTNERS does on our behalf and on the behalf of our students, faculty and staff. I tell them that having PARTNERS on our side is the dream of every dean of nursing in this country.”
This year’s luncheon honored the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for its philanthropic efforts and charitable donations to supporting educational programs in the community. The organization has donated approximately $430 million to Texas youth, including more than $68 million toward educational grants and endowments. As part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s educational philanthropy, it has also granted $570,000 to the UTHealth School of Nursing since 2013. Those funds contributed to the school’s accelerated Ph.D. program and the Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing (VBSN) program.
Jack Lyons, chairman of the board of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, who received the honor on behalf of the organization, said he is “extremely proud of the things we have been able to do as a result of the support of this community.”
“There was a time, a long time ago, when the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo didn’t align itself with organizations like this because our eyes were focused on the agriculture business. It still is our primary mission,” he added. “However, it didn’t take long before our organizers realized that our reach into the community could grow tremendously if we look beyond our comfort zone. We were right [in] diversifying, opening the door of opportunity to countless students and organizations in Texas.”
The luncheon also featured a keynote speech by journalist and New York Times bestselling author Lee Woodruff, whose husband, television journalist Bob Woodruff, was critically injured during a roadside bomb explosion in Iraq in January 2006. During her speech, Woodruff thanked the nurses, nursing students and nursing faculty for their work, saying she “would never be standing here as whole and as healed if it were not for my nurses” after her husband sustained a traumatic brain injury.
“There were a lot of lessons that I’ve learned, but one of the things I learned about my nurses is that was where I could find the hope,” Woodruff said to the audience during her speech.
“What I want to remind those of you going to school to study for this incredible calling is that one moment of intersection you had with me: ‘How are you, Mrs. Woodruff? Has anybody asked you how you are today?’ as I remember so distinctly one nurse saying to me. That one moment that to you just seems like a part of your day changed the whole intersection of my week,” she said. “You all included me in your equation. You put the family member into that care that day. It was such a simple thing. It’s second nature to anybody in nursing. But the moment that happened, you changed the trajectory of my ability to hope.”