Center News Magazine: Memorial Sloan Kettering Receives $50 Million in Honor of Josephine Robertson

By Memorial Sloan Kettering  |  Thursday, March 1, 2012

Memorial Sloan Kettering has joined with The Robertson Foundation to undertake two initiatives in honor of the late Josephine “Josie” Robertson: the Josie Robertson Surgery Center and the Josie Robertson Investigators Program. Made possible by a $50 million commitment from The Robertson Foundation — established in 1996 by Mrs. Robertson and her husband, investor Julian H. Robertson — the initiatives will have an impact both on the quality of care provided at Memorial Sloan Kettering and on its research enterprise.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Josie Robertson Surgery Center will be a new 16-story, 179,000-square-foot building constructed on York Avenue between East 61st and East 62nd Streets. Designed by the architectural firm Perkins Eastman, it will feature 12 operating rooms equipped to provide technologically sophisticated surgical care on an outpatient basis. The facility is scheduled to be completed in 2015.

The Josie Robertson Investigators Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering will support the recruitment of exceptional young physicians and scientists who, early in their careers, have pursued significant cancer research and developed innovative approaches to prevention and treatment. These investigators will pursue research with the goal of translating their findings into clinical practice. Ten Josie Robertson Investigators will be appointed during the first five years of the program, and each appointment will last for five years. 

“We are deeply grateful to The Robertson Foundation and the entire Robertson family,” says Memorial Sloan Kettering President Craig B. Thompson. “By supporting initiatives that focus on high-quality cancer treatment as well as today’s most creative research, the foundation has provided the means to honor Josie Robertson in a way that goes to the heart of this institution’s mission.”

Josie Robertson was elected to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Board of Overseers in 2004. Prior to her death in 2010, she worked with her husband to support a range of causes in education, medical research, and other areas.