NEWS | April 3, 2015

$2.5 million Dignity Health gift to UC Davis nursing school creates first endowed deanship


The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis announced today it received a $2.5 million gift from Dignity Health to create the first endowed deanship at UC Davis. The inaugural holder of the Dignity Health Dean’s Chair in Nursing Leadership is nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care, and founding dean of the School of Nursing, Heather M. Young.

Heather M. Young Heather M. Young

“This is an important moment for UC Davis because it affirms our commitment to teaching and research excellence and our leadership in the future of health care,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi. “We are grateful to Dignity Health for their visionary partnership that has allowed us to realize this moment. We are equally proud that Heather Young, who is such a well-regarded, accomplished and passionate health care leader and a UC Davis alumna, is the first holder of this important endowed position.”

Since its founding in 2009, the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis has brought forth an unprecedented opportunity to not just improve, but redesign health care. The dean is the visionary leader responsible for developing and enhancing the quality of the school’s faculty and programs.

This endowed deanship provides funds, for use at the dean’s discretion, that support teaching, research or outreach. Ultimately, the endowment provides the dean the opportunity to realize her vision and advance the mission of the School of Nursing. Because endowed gifts are invested so that their earnings can be spent, they provide valuable income, year after year, creating a lasting impact. The Dignity Health Dean’s Chair in Nursing Leadership makes it possible for the school to attract and retain future deans of the highest caliber, who are nationally or internationally renowned, and enables them to innovatively lead a transformation in health care that will last for generations to come.

Lloyd Dean © Dignity Health
Lloyd H. Dean

“As the founding dean tasked with the incredible opportunity to create a school that transforms health care through nursing education, leadership and research, I am filled with appreciation that the Dignity Health team recognizes the importance of investment in our mission. I am also humbled that I am the first named to this deanship,” Young said. “This endowment affirms the value of creating nurse leaders to make a lasting impact on health care.”

Dignity Health President and CEO Lloyd H. Dean said the San Francisco-based health system, which is the largest hospital provider in California, made the financial commitment to UC Davis because of the School of Nursing’s academic focus to develop nurse leaders of the future through high-caliber programs, which will allow health care leaders to leverage the nursing profession to better address the critical needs of health care systems.

“As an organization that was founded by sisters who came to San Francisco and provided nursing care, Dignity Health takes tremendous pride in the nurses who are changing lives in our hospitals every day,” Dignity Health’s Lloyd Dean explained. “The U.S. health care system is at a crossroads and we have a responsibility to support the next generation of nurses and ensure that more exceptional caregivers are entering the profession.”

Dean formally announced the gift Thursday night at a small gathering of Dignity leaders and School of Nursing professors, students, alumni and supporters at the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

About Heather M. Young, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N.

A nurse leader, educator, scientist and nationally recognized expert in gerontological nursing and rural health care, Heather M. Young is associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Young’s research focuses on healthy aging with a particular focus on the interface between individuals and family as well as formal health-care systems. She leads at the national and state levels in supporting implementation of the recommendations of the landmark Institute of Medicine report, “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.” She is a UC Davis alumna, graduating in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics. Read more about Heather Young.

About the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis transforms health care through nursing education and research. Established in 2009 through a $100 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the school offers four graduate areas of study, including doctoral and master’s-degree programs in nursing science and health-care leadership and master’s-degree programs for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, with a focus on preparing primary-care providers for rural and underserved communities. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing is part of UC Davis Health System, an integrated, academic health system encompassing the UC Davis School of Medicine, UC Davis Medical Center and the UC Davis Medical Group. For more information, visit