Top Cancer Center and a Medical Empire in Houston

  • Medicine & Health
  • 2011

The M. D. Anderson Cancer Center lies at the heart of the remarkable Texas Medical Center, which has become by far the world’s largest complex for healing the sick. The TMC, which CEO Richard Wainerdi describes as “probably the biggest confluence of philanthropy in the world,” currently has more than 41 million square feet of office space. Every year the complex hosts 7.1 million patients, 350,000 surgeries, and 28,000 births. The first coronary bypass surgery in the U.S., the first heart transplant, and many other important medical innovations took place within the TMC. A wide range of top-flight hospitals and other medical facilities are now located in the center, which grew up around M. D. Anderson after it admitted its first patients in 1944.

The depth and power of Houston medical philanthropy can be seen in the capital campaign M. D. Anderson launched in 2006, with a goal of raising $1 billion in six years. The campaign was halted two years early when it passed the $1.2 billion mark. At that point more than 630,000 individuals had made gifts and a staggering 127 donors had given at least $1 million. In 2012, M. D. Anderson’s regular annual philanthropic support totaled more than $190 million. In 2013, the center announced a $50 million gift from Texas philanthropist Lyda Hill toward a new $3 billion “Moon Shots Program” that aims to make fundamental research progress against killer cancers.

M. D. Anderson has applied this deep support to make itself a world leader. The hospital will serve its millionth patient within the decade. And in the U.S. News & World Report rankings it has been named the top cancer center in the U.S. for ten of the last 12 years. Other hospitals and treatment facilities within the Texas Medical Center have likewise benefited from private philanthropists—who made more than half a billion dollars of gifts to the wider complex in 2013 alone.