Three state-of-the-art buildings. Three newly opened clinics, with more to come. One hundred medical students. Eight hundred faculty. And 1,800 donors, including community members, local physicians and even faculty and staff, who have helped create one world-class medical school in Austin.
Dell Medical School faculty, staff, students and top donors gathered on Oct. 29, 2017, to celebrate the school’s best fundraising year to date. Propelled by gifts from Jim and Miriam Mulva and the family of Austin ophthalmologists Mitchel and Shannon Wong, the medical school raised $78 million in fiscal year 2016–2017.
The celebration was Dell Med’s second annual donor appreciation event and honored the people who came together to get all aspects of the medical school up and running. The event, dubbed “All Together Now,” marked this fall’s opening of UT Health Austin, the school’s clinical operation, and the coming-together of medical leaders from all over the country to work at Dell Med and pursue its goal of revolutionizing the way people get and stay healthy.
The evening gave Dell Med students the chance to meet and thank their scholarship donors in person. Every student at Dell Medical School, which so far has admitted two classes of 50, has received scholarship support. This year, the average award was $8,600, which covers nearly half of Dell Med’s $19,292 yearly tuition and surpasses Dean Clay Johnston’s goal to cover at least one-third of all tuition costs with scholarships.
First-year student Brooke Hergert and second-year student Anatoli Berezovsky addressed the crowd of 300, discussing their paths to Dell Medical School and the impact that philanthropy is having on their medical education.
For Hergert, a mother of two, the path to becoming a doctor wouldn’t be possible without scholarship support. After serving in the Army for seven years as an aviation officer, she decided to pursue her passion for medicine and dedicate her life to helping others.
Berezovsky, a former high school chemistry teacher, spoke of his experiences caring for patients through his clerkships and the emotional impact that scholarship support had made upon his journey to become a physician.
During the immersive event, guests experienced the medical school firsthand, from a case study led by Dell Med students and faculty to a tour of newly opened UT Health Austin space to a presentation by a local chef whose mobile teaching kitchen and food truck are creating conversations about healthy eating in Austin’s underserved communities.
Guests gathered in the courtyard between the school’s new clinical and research buildings. During the program, school leaders showcased the many successes that donors helped make possible, including the opening of UT Health Austin clinics, the recruitment of dozens of renowned faculty members, and community initiatives like a pilot project that dramatically reduced wait times for underserved patients seeking care for musculoskeletal issues.
The event also featured the debut of a new video celebrating the impact of Dell Med donors. “We’re All Together Now Because of You” highlighted how philanthropy has changed the lives of Dell Med students, faculty, clinicians and patients, as well as community members.
At “All Together Now,” the Dell Med community witnessed how every gift, large and small, makes a difference. Want to get involved? Make a gift to the school’s annual fund, which supports scholarships for outstanding students like Hergert and Berezovsky. With your help, Dell Med can continue to attract the best students Texas and the nation have to offer — students who are committed to improving health in our community and beyond. Learn more about philanthropy at Dell Med and other ways to join us in our mission to transform health care.