Hunter College of the City University of New York today announced the establishment of the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program at Hunter College, created by a new $52 million gift from Leonard A. Lauder in honor of his late wife Evelyn Lauder, a proud Hunter College High School and Hunter College alumna, who graduated from the College in 1958. The gift, the largest in Hunter’s history, comes at a time when the nation is suffering from an acute primary care shortage exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, and nurse practitioners (NPs) are widely recognized as the key to helping Americans, especially the underserved, get the care they need. This game-changing donation is the largest-ever philanthropic gift to a single CUNY school.
The gift will significantly enhance the current nurse practitioner master’s degree program at New York City’s largest public nursing school. The new Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program will feature substantial financial support for a cohort of 25 students per year who are committed to practicing in New York City’s under-resourced communities. It will also provide additional faculty, state-of-the-art technology and equipment, and an expanded curriculum to the benefit of the wider NP student body.
In its entirety, the gift will increase the number of nurse practitioners entering the workforce and accelerate their time to graduation, easing their financial burden of their training, advancing their career paths, and benefiting the larger community.
The Program will also create a powerful education and employment pipeline between Hunter and New York City Health + Hospitals (H+H). Unlike other top programs across the country, Hunter does not have an academic medical center for student clinical training. H+H will expand its capacity to serve as formal training sites under the supervision of senior H+H nursing and medical staff, with Program graduates distinctly prepared to work in H+H hospitals and clinics. The Program will catalyze a new level of high-quality health care in underserved communities across New York City, where nearly all of Hunter’s nursing graduates remain to serve after graduation—while providing a pathway for the many nurses interested in advanced education who may not otherwise have the means to pursue it.
In making this historic gift, Leonard A. Lauder honors his beloved late wife, Evelyn Lauder, a proud Hunter alumna. The gift also pays tribute to the vibrancy and optimism of New York City and New Yorkers’ relentless pursuit of their dreams, as embodied in Hunter’s dedicated nursing students, whose goals are to bring their careers to the next level and help their neighbors.
“New York City has meant the world to my family—my parents and grandparents made their lives here—and to me, and Hunter is part of our New York City story,” said Leonard A. Lauder, Chairman Emeritus of the Estée Lauder Companies. “My wife Evelyn loved Hunter and was proud to support the College throughout her life, and I honor her with this gift, to support the education of nurse practitioners who will be leaders in advancing the health of New Yorkers. I am very pleased to congratulate President Raab on her leadership, and thank her for her unwavering commitment to helping every Hunter student achieve success.”
In 2015, Leonard A. Lauder donated $10 million to the Hunter College School of Nursing, which created the Evelyn H. Lauder Nursing Fund.
“Evelyn Lauder was an extraordinary person who lived the Hunter motto, mihi cure future—the care of the future is mine. I was proud to have called her a dear friend,” said Jennifer J. Raab, president of Hunter College. “She epitomized generations of hardworking Hunter students who used their gifts to help others. We are honored to establish the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program, which will transform the lives of our nursing students, and, working with New York Health + Hospitals, bring expanded access and excellence in health care to all New Yorkers. Leonard Lauder has our deepest thanks for this groundbreaking gift to a public institution and his trusted counsel through the years.”
“This extraordinary gift from Leonard A. Lauder will create a new, powerful partnership between Hunter College and NYC Health + Hospitals,” said Dr. Mitch Katz, President and CEO, NYC Health + Hospitals. “The Hunter College School of Nursing has for years produced some of the city’s best health care workers who provide excellent care to all New Yorkers, in every community, and the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program will ensure our talented H+H staff can train Hunter’s dedicated nurse practitioner students and together, we will further health equity in New York City.”
The Vital Role of Nurse Practitioners:
Nurse Practitioners are leaders on the front lines of care, a role never more important as Americans confront a primary health care shortage in their communities. With their advanced clinical training and graduate education, NPs have the knowledge and skill to supervise and manage critical aspects of care, from diagnosis, to ordering and interpreting tests, to prescribing medication. NPs deliver high-quality primary care to people of all ages, such as treating common illnesses, managing chronic conditions, and providing preventive care that helps people stay healthy.
Nurse practitioners are also able to take on key leadership roles, from managing and operating walk-in or community clinics to leading interdisciplinary teams within health systems.
Detailed Elements of the Evelyn Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Program:
- New cohort of students: Beginning in 2023, 25 students per year will be selected as Evelyn Lauder Nurse Practitioner Fellows, a selective group of exceptional NPs in the Adult Gerontology and Psychiatric-Mental Health programs who are committed to seeking future careers in the hospitals and clinics of New York City Health + Hospitals.
- Each Evelyn Lauder Nurse Practitioner Fellow would be awarded a $30,000 stipend that can be applied toward tuition support or living expenses.
- This support will enable the Lauder Fellows to expedite their degree and enter the workforce sooner.
- The Fellows will receive rigorous clinical training in a Health + Hospitals facility, and be well-positioned to serve within the H+H system following graduation.
- New faculty and administrators:
- Two newly endowed chairs, the Evelyn Lauder Chairs in Adult Gerontology and Psychiatric-Mental Health, will expand Hunter’s expertise and senior teaching power in these programs, and supplement the State-funded salaries available for these positions.
- A new Evelyn Lauder Associate Dean for Nurse Practitioner Programs will provide dedicated and comprehensive oversight of the Program.
- A Director of Clinical Placements and Health + Hospitals (H+H) Partnerships will oversee the clinical experiences for all NP students working in H+H and other hospital and clinical facilities.
- Additional faculty will allow more part-time and summer courses to be offered for the many NP students who study part-time while they work.
- New technology and equipment:
- Major enhancements to the Clinical Learning Lab for NP students will provide dedicated laboratory space and simulation resources for technology-based learning, which are essential to student training in an environment using increasingly sophisticated technology.
- State-of-the-art examination rooms will emulate the practice settings in which future NPs will work.
- A new Chief Technician of the Clinical Learning Lab will assist with clinical training and simulation operations.