As an enduring tribute to a valued Board member and woman of incomparable grace, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center has joined with The Robertson Foundation to undertake two high-profile initiatives in honor of Josephine “Josie” Robertson: the Josie Robertson Surgery Center and the Josie Robertson Investigators Program. The initiatives will have a significant impact both on the quality of care provided at Memorial Sloan Kettering and on its research enterprise, providing a fitting tribute to a woman who touched countless lives.
Helping to make the tribute a reality is a $50 million commitment from The Robertson Foundation, which was established in 1996 by Mrs. Robertson and her husband, legendary investor Julian H. Robertson, along with their family.
The Memorial Sloan Kettering Josie Robertson Surgery Center will be an all-new 16-story 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 today’s most technologically sophisticated surgical care on an outpatient basis. The new 179,000-square-foot outpatient surgical facility is scheduled for completion 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 attained significant insights into cancer and devised innovative approaches to prevention and treatment. These entrepreneurial researchers will pursue today’s most important emerging concepts, with the ultimate goal of translating them into reality. There will be a total of ten Josie Robertson Investigators 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. 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,” said Craig B. Thompson, President of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
A native of San Antonio, Josie Robertson was elected to Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Board of Overseers in 2004. Her involvement with Memorial Sloan Kettering was just one of her many civic and philanthropic activities, which included service as chairman of The Classroom, Inc. Council for Learning and as a director and member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Prior to her death in 2010, she worked with her husband, Julian, to support a range of causes in education, medical research, and other areas. The couple was married for 38 years and raised three sons.
“Josie was a very special person who excelled in all that she undertook, as a wise colleague on the Board, a kind, and gracious friend, and so much more,” said Douglas A. Warner III, Chairman of the Boards of Overseers and Managers of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “All of us at Memorial Sloan Kettering thank the Robertson Foundation for helping us to honor Josie in a way that is worthy of the brave and wonderful person she was and all that she accomplished.”