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$25 million gift to MD Anderson from Howard Meyers
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$25 million gift to MD Anderson from Howard Meyers

Howard Meyers, of Dallas, Texas, a member of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV), has committed $25 million to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to establish the Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing.

The first of its kind, the Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing will support and develop nurses throughout their careers by providing educational, professional and wellness-based resources tailored to cancer care nurses and nurse scientists. This generous commitment will be matched through institutional philanthropic efforts, bringing the program funding to its goal of $50 million.

Meyers dedicated the gift in honor of his late wife, Rose-Marie “Rory” Meyers, whose career and legacy as a nurse inspired his philanthropic commitment. As a member of the BOV since 2012, Meyers was also motivated by the institution’s dedication to solving a critical problem: the growing shortage of qualified nurses in cancer care.

“On behalf of the Meyers Foundation, my sons, Craig and Kevin, and I are proud to support MD Anderson by establishing the Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing in honor of Rory Meyers,” Meyers said. “Rory graduated nursing school in 1962 and was a dedicated nurse who devoted much of her life to providing education for those in the nursing field.”

In addition to addressing the current nursing shortage, the Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing aims to mitigate nurse burnout and establish a model for other institutions to follow — ultimately helping MD Anderson reach more patients and increase access to its world-leading prevention, diagnostic and treatment services, a key objective of the institution’s Strategy launched in 2021.

“It is critical for us to recruit, retain and upskill nurses who can meet the multifaceted demands of cancer care,” said Peter WT Pisters, M.D., president of MD Anderson. “Howard’s generous gift plays a key role in helping us attract, nurture and keep the best and brightest nurses in health care. The Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing positions MD Anderson as a game-changer in this landscape by focusing on nursing professionalism, elevating our training and work environments and emphasizing individual career paths for nurses.”

The Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing builds on the existing foundation of MD Anderson’s reputation as a premier institution for nursing. Since 2001, MD Anderson has earned five consecutive Magnet Recognition Program® designations from the American Nurses Credentialing Center, which recognizes health care organizations for superior patient outcomes, teamwork and innovations in professional nursing practice. This designation contributes to MD Anderson’s consistent ranking among the nation’s top hospitals for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” survey.

With more than 4,500 registered nurses and the largest clinical trials program in the world, MD Anderson offers a unique, collaborative environment for nurses to lead in the administration of research and management of cancer care. The Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing will provide new educational and professional opportunities for nurses and nurse scientists to further advance their careers, including A.P.R.N. and R.N. cancer specialty fellowships and residencies.

“Cancer specialty fellowships and residencies enable nurses to learn and refine trailblazing approaches to cancer care that maximize safety and positive outcomes for our patients,” said Rosanna Morris, senior vice president and chief operating officer at MD Anderson. “This advanced level of training elevates our practice and allows MD Anderson to set the nursing gold standard for cancer centers around the world.”

Additionally, the Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing plans to launch the Nurse Leadership Academy, which will focus on the unique leadership capabilities required to successfully lead within nursing and the support, coaching and mentoring infrastructure required for success.

The Meyers Institute for Oncology Nursing will also feature growth and wellness tracks that offer alternative professional opportunities by prioritizing time spent developing skills or being at home. By dedicating time for professional and personal growth and wellness, the Institute will develop a pipeline of nursing leaders better equipped and positioned to share their perspectives on institutional leadership teams.

“We hope to inspire the next generation of top talent to join cancer care nursing careers,” said Carol Porter, D.N.P., senior vice president and chief nursing officer at MD Anderson. “We want our nurses to be the best at what they do and realize their personal and professional aspirations. Simply put, we want nurses who begin their careers at MD Anderson to retire from MD Anderson.”

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