Just before 10:30 a.m. this morning and under a shower of confetti, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston unveiled a new name for their nursing school: the Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth.
The announcement comes after an unprecedented donation of $25 million from the couple, known for their philanthropy and dedication to service throughout Houston. The celebratory event drew a large crowd of students, faculty and staff, as well as community members and leadership throughout the TMC.
UTHealth School of Nursing Dean Lorraine Frazier, Ph.D., RN, says the gift will deliver great opportunities for students and faculty.
“The gift means a lot to the school. It means we’ll have more student scholarships, it will mean more endowments for us to reward outstanding faculty and recruit more faculty—which will drive research and improve patient care—and it will allow us to create a distinguished lecture series,” Frazier said.
Frazier emphasized that the ability to recruit and retain quality faculty is critical at a time when the country faces a growing need for registered nurses and nurse faculty.
“Nursing has never been more challenging or complex, and there’s a great nursing shortage. We educate very good nurses that are in high demand—that’s where we stand out—and these kinds of gifts and support from the community enable us to continue to be the pacesetters we’ve come to be known as for the past 30-plus years,” Frazier said. “The research that this gift will enable us to do will help us manage more patients more effectively. Yes, we educate nurses, but we’re also pushing our faculty and students to think critically and be creative and ask, ‘How can we do things better?’”
In addition to their undergraduate program, the school is also recognized for its graduate degrees, including a Master’s, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Ph.D. and Nurse Anesthesia program. The school has more than 1,600 students currently enrolled and is ranked in the top 5 percent of graduate nursing programs in the nation. According to U.S. News & World Report, it is the highest ranked program in the Gulf Coast region.
“We produce nursing leaders,” Frazier said. “I always say, if you are in Houston, you’re going to be impacted by a UT nurse. She may not be at your bedside, but she is most likely involved in the organization and in making decisions that impact care in the organization. That’s an incredible legacy for the school, and the Ciziks’ generosity will help keep that going.”
Nursing is close to the Ciziks’ hearts.
“I have a deep appreciation for the nursing profession,” said Jane Cizik, whose sister is a nurse. “Rob and I have always been involved in our community, no matter where we lived, and UTHealth is at the center of our core beliefs that nurses are absolutely integral in providing the type of care where patients come first. That trickles down from the top to the nurses, the doctors, the technicians and everybody who works there. It’s a team effort and we are honored to have our names associated with it.”
Nursing is about service and compassion, Frazier said.
“And when you think of the Ciziks, that’s what you think of—service and compassion. This gift enables them to realize that legacy in a profession that exemplifies the values that are important to them. It was a perfect match, and it’s an incredible honor for our school.”
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U.S. Department of Veterans AffairsVeteransAffairs
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Women’s Army Corps Veteran Martha Settle Putney. Martha served during World War II. Born and raised in Norristown, Pennsylvania, Martha had been determined from a young age to earn a college degree. In 1935, Martha had earned enough money to attend a year of college at Howard University. While attending, Martha was recruited by a congressional candidate to garner votes from the black community, and in return, was given a full scholarship to continue her education. She ultimately graduated from Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in History and a master’s degree in Modern European History. After completing college, Martha applied to work in the district school system, but lacked the personal connections to get the job. Instead, she applied for a position with the War Manpower Commission and received a job as an assistant stockroom clerk. After spending time with the War Manpower Commission, Martha became aware of the newly formed Women’s Army Corps and decided to take the Army General Classification Test. Having done well on the test, Martha was invited to formally enroll with the Women’s Army Corps and after enlisting, was sent to Fort Des Moines, Iowa. There, she received basic training and adjusted to working in a military which was still largely segregated. Following basic training, Martha was assigned to administration school and later officer candidate school. On July 7, 1943, Martha completed her training and two months later was assigned as a supply officer, responsible for maintaining provisions. While working as a supply officer, Martha applied for and was accepted to adjutant general school at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. After completing adjutant general school, Martha was assigned as a troop commander at the Army Air Force Base in Midland, Texas before being sent back to Fort Des Moines, where she worked with the special training units. While there, Martha used her position to effectively desegregate the pool at Fort Des Moines. From Fort Des Moines, Martha was sent to Chicago, Illinois, where she served as a commanding officer of a hospital company. She remained in this position throughout the war until the company was decommissioned in July 1946. After leaving Chicago, Martha was assigned to Fort Custer, Michigan before being granted a transfer to Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, New York. Martha was discharged from the Women’s Army Corps in 1946 at the rank of first lieutenant. Following her discharge, Martha used her benefits under the G.I. Bill to enroll in the doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania, ultimately earning a PhD in European History. She went on to achieve notoriety for her contributions to the civil rights movement and her work chronicling the history of African American service members. Martha passed on Dec. 11, 2008 at the age of 92. We honor her service.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Women’s Army Corps Veteran Martha Settle Putney. Martha served during World War II. https://t.co/9RaNBEC8Ef
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