AUSTIN, Texas — A $1 million gift from University Federal Credit Union (UFCU) will support community health initiatives and the training of physician leaders attending Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin.
“UFCU is delighted to join with Dell Medical School in helping to improve the health of Central Texans,” said UFCU President and CEO Tony Budet. “With our shared commitment to higher education and to this incredible community, our partnership is a natural fit.”
Most of UFCU’s gift will ultimately assist with community health initiatives led by the medical school’s Department of Population Health — eliminating interest expenses on building construction and creating about $250,000 in savings over five years that will go to the department. The gift also will create three four-year scholarships for students in the 2017–2018 entering class, with preference given to those who intend to provide care in Central Texas upon graduating. The scholarships, administered through Texas Exes, will go to students from groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine.
“UFCU has been a leader in supporting Travis County, particularly in thinking about how to promote a strong fiscal foundation across the community. But fiscal fitness and health go hand in hand. We’re excited to be working with UFCU, and our students and community will clearly benefit,” said Clay Johnston, the medical school’s inaugural dean. “The return on investment will be better health in Travis County and beyond.”
This isn’t the first time that UFCU has teamed up with Dell Medical School. In February 2016, the credit union helped the school host a symposium supportive of the new Department of Population Health — one of only eight such medical school units nationwide. Led by chair Bill Tierney, the department focuses on improving the overall health and well-being of Travis County residents — especially low-income and uninsured residents — through better care, access to care, health promotion and disease prevention.
“UFCU supports community health initiatives because they align with our focus on enhancing quality of life for our members and the broader community,” said Budet.
Founded in 1936 by faculty and staff members at UT Austin, UFCU recognizes higher education as integral to the well-being of individuals, their families and the community at large. The credit union has supported the university through philanthropic gifts to UT Libraries, UT Athletics, and to the university’s Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, among others.
As the medical school works to redesign care in the community around better outcomes, lower costs and a closer focus on individuals and their health, Johnston has invited UFCU leaders to lend their expertise to the effort.
“When someone like Dean Johnston has that kind of a vision and invites you to participate in his work, one has to say yes,” Budet said.