UH medical school named after Tilman J. Fertitta family following legacy-defining $50 million gift

A historical donation will be made to champion education at the University of Houston after prominent businessman Tilman J. Fertitta and his family pledged $50 million to the college of medicine.

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UH says this pledge looks to ignite a new era of innovative and equitable health care across Houston and Texas. That's why in honor of this legacy-defining support, the medical school is now named the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine. 

"Tilman Fertitta and his family have made a visionary investment, so it is only fitting this new, ambitious and forward-thinking medical school should bear the Fertitta name," UH President Renu Khator said in a press statement. "It will have a remarkable and lasting impact on Houston and the world. Thanks to the Fertitta family’s amazing generosity, the financial security and longevity of the medical school is cemented for generations to come."

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The generous donation is expected to address Texas' critical primary care physician shortage, which is especially prominent in underserved and low-income communities, as well as seek out renowned scholars who have demonstrated a focus on healthcare innovation. Additionally, it will enable faculty members to go after clinical and "translational research" zeroing in on population health, as well as behavioral health and other social determinants. 

"Our family has such a passion for this medical school and its pursuit of health equity so everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, zip code, or socioeconomic status, has the same opportunity to be as healthy as possible," Fertitta explained. "My hope is that the Tilman J. Fertitta Family College of Medicine will be a game-changer for the health and well-being of Texans by improving access to quality health care, advancing medical knowledge, and improving patient care through health and health care research." 

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Here is a breakdown of the $50 million gift and what it looks to go towards: 

  • $10 million funds five endowed chairs for faculty hires who are considered national stars in their fields with a focus on health care innovation. This portion of the gift will be matched one-to-one as part of the University’s "$100 Million Challenge" for chairs and professorships, doubling the endowed principal to $20 million.
  • $10 million establishes an endowed scholarship fund to support endowed graduate research stipends/fellowships for medical students.
  • $10 million will cover start-up costs for the Fertitta Family College of Medicine to enhance research activities including facilities, equipment, program costs, and graduate research stipends/fellowships.
  • $20 million will create the Fertitta Dean’s Endowed Fund to support research-enhancing activities.

To learn more about the $50 million pledge, click here.