SAN ANTONIO (Sept. 28, 2018) ― UT Health San Antonio will honor philanthropists Peggy and Lowry Mays at the annual President’s Gala on Saturday, Sept. 29. With the theme “A Legacy of Caring,” the event also marks the 50th anniversary of the Joe R. & Teresa Lozano Long School of Medicine and its continued service to the South Texas community.
Each year the President’s Gala raises more than $500,000 to support UT Health San Antonio’s clinical, research and education programs. In addition to honoring the more than 13,000 alumni from the Long School of Medicine, this year’s gala will establish the Peggy and Lowry Mays Patient Care Endowment. The endowment will support the Patient Supportive Care Program at UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, honorifically called the Mays Cancer Center.
“We are so grateful to Lowry and Peggy and all they have done for our cancer center through the years,” said UT Health San Antonio President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP. “The Patient Supportive Care Program provides critical services for our cancer patients with the greatest financial needs. The endowment will also fund wellness and survivorship programs that help our patients lead healthier lives after they complete treatment. This program is vital to caring for our patients in the compassionate way we would want to be treated ourselves. They embody our mission to provide the very best in care to patients close to home.”
Peggy and Lowry Mays and their family have been key supporters of the cancer center since its early years. Peggy Mays, a former member of the Board of Governors of the cancer center, founded its highly successful annual fund program – the Cabinet – in 1996. The Cabinet has raised nearly $8 million over the program’s 21-year history. Cabinet gifts provide essential support for innovative cancer research, state-of-the-art equipment, and critical cancer education and patient care programs.
Kathryn Mays Johnson, daughter of Lowry and Peggy Mays, is president of the Mays Family Foundation. She is a member of the cancer center’s Board of Governors and is a past president of the SA Cancer Council. Over the past 33 years, the council has supported the cancer center through fundraising, volunteer services, community outreach and education, and patient assistance. The SA Cancer Council has raised more than $4.5 million for these purposes.
In February, the Mays Family Foundation increased its legacy gift to the cancer center to $30 million. The contribution provided a substantial endowment to perpetually support the cancer center director and establish up to 10 new permanent distinguished endowed chairs for the recruitment and retention of key faculty members. The gift also established the Mays Cancer Center Excellence Endowment to support top priorities for future success and long-term sustainability for generations to come.
“My parents, brother and I have all been touched by cancer,” Kathryn Mays Johnson said. “Because we know what it’s like to hear the difficult words, ‘You have cancer,’ and have appreciated the excellent care we have received here at the Mays Cancer Center and at MD Anderson, we feel compelled to give back. We are pleased that our investments are developing our cancer center’s affiliation with MD Anderson and have been impressed with the rapid progress of this relationship that will benefit cancer patients in our region.”
With funding from The University of Texas System, UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center has completed renovations of several key areas of the cancer center including the Welcome Center, Family Center and Medical Oncology Infusion Center. The MD Anderson model of patient-centered care is being employed and, thanks to the Mays Family Foundation gift, more than a dozen key research and clinical faculty members have been recruited over the past year.
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