The PARTNERS organization didn’t let the pandemic stop its longstanding tradition of supporting scholarships and faculty research at Cizik School of Nursing at UTHealth Houston.
PARTNERS stands for Providing Advancement Resources To Nursing Education, Research, and Students, and its 2021 Virtual Spring Luncheon exceeded the organization’s fundraising goal.
In her keynote address, prominent and long-serving television anchor Deborah Norville extolled the benefits of gratitude. She gave thanks to PARTNERS, nursing educators, practicing nurses, and students. “You choose to care for others, so thank you on behalf of all the people who will feel your healing touch,” she told the students. Her talk featured highlights from her bestselling book, “Thank You Power,” that examines the science behind the benefits of gratitude.
Supporters who purchased “tables” for the April 21 event received meals delivered to their homes, where several hosted socially distanced gatherings. At Cizik School of Nursing, PARTNERS Spring Luncheon Chair Allison Edwards, DrPH, MS, RN, and Dean Diane Santa Maria, DrPH, MSN, RN, hosted special guests that included four current students who have received PARTNERS scholarships. Houston Public Media’s Ernie Manouse served as virtual emcee of the prerecorded program.
The event honored Jane Morin Cizik, who with her husband, Robert, made a foundational $25 million gift to the nursing school in 2017.
“Thank you for helping these exceptional students become the angels we call nurses,” Mrs. Cizik said.
PARTNERS achieved its initial fundraising goal prior to the event and approached the $150,000 mark during the luncheon as supporters utilized a text-to-give option. Corporate and community sponsors included H-E-B, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, and Texas Children’s Hospital.
“We are extremely grateful to everyone who made this year’s luncheon a success, and more importantly, to the generous supporters whose contributions will help develop the next generation of nursing leaders and fund breakthroughs in nursing research,” Edwards said. “Here’s hoping next year we can all celebrate together in person once again.”