On Tuesday, the Livestrong Foundation announced its plan to donate $50 million to the University of Texas-Austin’s new Dell Medical School in order to build the Livestrong Cancer Institutes. The organization, formerly known as the Lance Armstrong Foundation, is making what The Texas Tribune called a “strategic move” to restore its reputation following the name change in 2012 after Armstrong’s doping scandal, which effectively removed him as the foundation’s chairman.
The donation will be spread over 10 years, and it’s the largest gift the school has received since its $10 million from the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation, which came with the naming rights. Plans are set for the medical school to welcome its first students in 2016.
“We’ve obviously gone through a pretty strategic planning process over the last 18 months,” Livestrong President and CEO Doug Ulman told The Texas Tribune. “This opportunity clear and away rose to the top in terms of where we could, as an organization, have the biggest long-term impact on our mission. It’s truly one of those opportunities that doesn’t come along very often.”
Rather than use the money for new buildings, it will be put toward deepening the relationship between the school and Livestrong in order to improve patient-centered cancer care, providing each person with individual attention.
“In Austin, the care that’s provided to people with cancer who don’t have insurance is not appropriate,” Clay Johnston, inaugural dean of the medical school, told The Texas Tribune. “Austin does the best it can but in an antiquated system.”
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