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$12 million gift for Nurse Scholars at Cleveland Clinic from Nick and Lorie Howley
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$12 million gift for Nurse Scholars at Cleveland Clinic from Nick and Lorie Howley

Cleveland Clinic has received a gift of more than $12 million from Nick and Lorie Howley’s Foundation to double the number of nurse scholars at Cleveland Clinic, beginning in fall 2023.

The program seeks to increase diversity in healthcare, address opportunity gaps and reduce health disparities in the community.

In recognition of this new generous gift and the Foundation’s cumulative support, all programs within the ASPIRE initiative at Cleveland Clinic will be renamed to honor the Howley name including the Howley ASPIRE Nurse Scholars Program.

The nursing program is for local high school and college students, and seeks to increase diversity in healthcare, address opportunity gaps and reduce health disparities in the community.

“It’s essential that we diversify the pipeline of our future healthcare workforce, including nurses, to better represent our patients and the communities we serve,” said Tom Mihaljevic, M.D., CEO and President of Cleveland Clinic and the holder of the Morton L. Mandel CEO Chair. “We are grateful for the Howley’s continued support and passion for increasing diversity and equity in our next generation of caregivers.”

The gift will allow the nurse scholars program to double enrollment to approximately 50 students from Cleveland-area high schools each year.

Students enter the program as high school juniors and are taught an innovative curriculum that provides an exploration of the nursing profession, as well as socialization and integration into healthcare. High school graduates then have the opportunity to earn a scholarship to pursue a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the Breen School of Nursing and Health Professions at Ursuline College.

Students work as patient care nursing assistants at Cleveland Clinic during the summer after high school graduation and throughout their college career. They then have the opportunity to return to work as registered nurses at a Cleveland Clinic facility after college graduation and licensure.

“We feel strongly that a quality education is the best way to address social inequality and promote economic mobility,” said Nick Howley, chairman of The Howley Foundation and executive chairman and founder of Transdigm Group Inc. “We want students to be able to complete their nursing degrees poised for success.”

Launched in 2017, the program was the brainchild of Kelly Hancock, DNP, Chief Caregiver Officer of Cleveland Clinic and the holder of the Rich Family Chief Caregiver Chair, and Lorie and Nick Howley. It has been sustained by the generosity of The Howley Foundation that has committed more than 20 million dollars to date, and other donors, such as Beth E. Mooney and the KeyBank Foundation.

“We remain committed to cultivating a workplace that embraces diversity, inclusion and equity to better serve our patients,” said Dr. Hancock. “The Howley ASPIRE Program serves as a key element in supporting these efforts. This generous gift allows us to offer this wonderful opportunity to more nurse scholars in Northeast Ohio and increases public awareness about the vital role our nurses have in delivering high-quality healthcare.”

In December 2022, the nurse scholars program celebrated its first five graduates who are now employed as full-time registered nurses at Cleveland Clinic. More than 15 students are expected to graduate from Ursuline College with nursing degrees by 2024.

The Howley ASPIRE Program also offers additional pathways for other healthcare careers including respiratory therapy, surgical technology and sterile processing.

Cleveland Clinic is accepting nurse scholar applications from high school juniors through Oct. 1, 2023. To learn more and apply online, visit

Nick Howley is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Transdigm Group, Inc., a New York Exchange listed company. The company is a leading global designer, producer and supplier of highly engineered aircraft components, systems and subsystems.

Nick is one of the founders of The Howley Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors.

Howley earned his B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Drexel University and his MBA from Harvard Business School.

Howley is also currently the Chairman of the Cristo Rey Network Board. The Cristo Rey Network is comprised of 32 Catholic, college preparatory schools that serve more than 10,000 economically disadvantaged students across 21 states.

Nick’s extensive charitable governance experience also includes service on the boards of Case Western Reserve University, The Cleveland Clinic, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Washington and Jefferson College, St Martin de Porres High School, Gilmour Academy as well as various public and private for profit boards.

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. Cleveland Clinic is consistently recognized in the U.S. and throughout the world for its expertise and care. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 77,000 employees worldwide are more than 5,658 salaried physicians and researchers, and 19,000 registered nurses and advanced practice providers, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic is a 6,699-bed health system that includes a 173-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 23 hospitals, more than 275 outpatient facilities, including locations in northeast Ohio; southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nevada; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2022, there were 12.8 million outpatient encounters, 303,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 270,000 surgeries and procedures throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries.

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