Medical humanities program receives scholarship gift

March 20, 2013
(L to R) - Gale Galloway, DeBakey Medical Foundation trustee; Baylor University DeBakey Scholars in Medical Humanities Estela Rodriguez Alonso, Stephanie Allen, Tyler Jones, Elizabeth Puckett, Elizabeth Miller; and Dr. George Noon, president of the DeBakey Medical Foundation. (Randy Fiedler/Baylor University)

Medical humanities program receives scholarship gift

During a special campus ceremony in February, Baylor University accepted a $500,000 gift from the DeBakey Medical Foundation to expand the Michael E. DeBakey, Selma DeBakey and Lois DeBakey Endowed Scholarship in Medical Humanities. With this gift, the Foundation has invested $1 million in the DeBakey Scholarship fund, which was established in 2009.

"On behalf of the DeBakey family, this magnificent gift is yet another compelling testament to their leadership and commitment to invest in meaningful health care and the effective education of future leaders in the medical profession," said Baylor President Ken Starr. "This generous gift from the DeBakey Medical Foundation will expand the good work already being done in conjunction with the DeBakey name, and we offer our deepest gratitude for the immediate and future impact of the Foundation's generosity through this scholarship."

The Michael E. DeBakey, Selma DeBakey and Lois DeBakey Endowed Scholarship Fund in Medical Humanities benefits Baylor students pursuing studies in medical humanities. Students awarded the scholarship are designated as "DeBakey Scholars" to carry on the legacy of a family that revolutionized the field of medicine.

Dr. George P. Noon, president of the DeBakey Medical Foundation, and Gale Galloway, BBA '52, a DeBakey Medical Foundation trustee, presented the check to the university during a reception at the Baylor Sciences Building, which houses the medical humanities and science disciplines at Baylor.

"Dr. Michael E. DeBakey was a great scholar and a great believer in this program that you have here at Baylor University," Noon said. "I started medical school about 50 years ago, and all the information I have gathered over 50 years of on-the-job training, your students will be able to get in four years; so we are very happy and pleased to help fund this program."

The medical humanities program at Baylor University incorporates the insights of disciplines ranging from literature to economics to religion into the practice of modern scientific medicine. By providing a broad base of knowledge about the human experience, the program produces students with the scientific background, as well as the human understanding, that will result in physicians able to care for their patients' well-being in addition to their wellness.

"I was thinking on the way over here of how far the Medical Humanities program has come in such a short time," said Dr. Lee C. Nordt, professor of geology and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor. "Medical Humanities is a program that is now on the cutting edge and that other programs across the country are trying to emulate. We are indebted to Dr. Noon and Gale Galloway. We owe a great deal of thanks to these two men.

"The DeBakey Medical Foundation has invested $1 million in scholarships, specifically for medical humanities. It validates the program to have that type of support from a world-renowned medical foundation," Nordt said.

"Dr. DeBakey's name is one of the most prestigious in all of American medicine, so we are particularly thrilled to have the support of the DeBakey Foundation," said Lauren A. Barron, MD, lecturer and associate director of Medical Humanities at Baylor. "Such a generous gift will go a long way to help us in our mission to bridge the art and science of medicine and to prepare Baylor students who not only excel in the sciences, but who also understand medicine as a sacred vocation."

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