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UT Tyler School of Medicine Receives $400k Gift From Anonymous Donor

Funds to Support Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship 

TYLER (April 1, 2024) –The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine received a  $400,000 gift from an anonymous donor to support the hospice and palliative medicine  fellowship. The purpose of the gift is to retain physicians in the East Texas region. 

After a doctor graduates from medical school and residency, completing a fellowship can offer  them additional specialization and differentiate them from other candidates. As the last piece  of a physician’s medical education, a fellowship often determines where they stay for the rest  of their practice. 

“This generous donation to our hospice and palliative medicine fellowship program signifies a  significant step forward in our mission to provide exceptional health care services to the East  Texas community,” said Dr. Brigham C. Willis, School of Medicine founding dean. “In  particular, education on chronic disease management, end of life issues, quality of life  improvement and so much more, as is provided in this fellowship, is fundamental to our  mission of training well-rounded, humanistic physicians. This support will not only benefit our  fellows but also the patients and families they serve.” 

The donor’s gift will support the promotion of the fellowship and cover additional costs for  fellows, such as books and moving expenses, drawing more health care providers to East  Texas. 

“What we do is the heart of medicine—caring for people,” said Dr. Laura Ferguson, hospice  and palliative medicine fellowship program director. “Having compassion means you see  someone’s suffering, you feel their suffering and then you ask, how can I help ease their  suffering. This gift will enable us to meet East Texans’ health care needs and support their  families, for now and the years to come.” 

Hospice-and-palliative-medicine-trained physicians care for patients with incurable diseases,  most often in an elderly population. According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2022,  the median age of the populations of the Tyler and Longview, Texas metropolitan statistical  areas were higher than the statewide average. At UT Tyler, the fellowship partners with the  Hospice of East Texas and Texas Palliative Care to provide their fellows with the necessary  experience to treat these patients. 

With a mission to improve educational and health care outcomes for East Texas and beyond,  UT Tyler offers more than 90 undergraduate and graduate programs to nearly 10,000 students. 

Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler  has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education, cutting-edge research and  excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S.  News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview,  Palestine and Houston.

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