The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) has announced a $75 million gift from the John P. McGovern Foundation.
The largest gift in the university's history will support medical training, scholarships, and scientific discovery and innovation at UTHealth and its medical school, which will be renamed the John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School. In addition to funding the school's first full scholarships, the gift will be used to enhance programs at the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics — which was established in 2004 with a gift from the foundation to address the dehumanizing forces in health care — and establish a collaborative research endowment, endowed chairs, and distinguished faculty awards.
The late John P. McGovern was a pediatrician, allergist, immunologist, and educator who helped shape the Texas Medical Center in its formative years. He embraced the philosophy of Sir William Osler, whose approach included patient-centered compassionate care and an appreciation of the humanities and the history of medicine. In 1961, he established the Texas Allergy Research Foundation, which was renamed the John P. McGovern Foundation in 1979.
"Dr. McGovern once said, 'We physicians are a privileged lot — privileged to serve, to share the human drama of our patients, and to contribute to their health and well-being. To be properly educated to practice his or her art, it is essential that knowledge of science be supplemented by familiarity with the humanities'," said William C. Shrader, vice president and director of the McGovern Foundation. "This is a fitting gift in memory of a man who dedicated his adult life to learning, teaching, researching, and practicing medicine."