TTUHSC Names Department of Internal Medicine to Honor J.T. & Margaret Talkington

University's first department naming recognizes the Talkington Foundation's gift of six new endowed faculty chairs in internal medicine

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center announced a gift from the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation that will create six new endowed faculty chairs in internal medicine at the university.

In recognition of the gift, the department will be named the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Department of Internal Medicine.

It is the first named department at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and highlights the special connection between Margaret Talkington and Dr. Cynthia Jumper, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine.

“When Mrs. Talkington became ill, Dr. Jumper was her physician,” said Dr. Steven L. Berk, executive vice president provost and dean of the School of Medicine for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “So they got to know each other very well, and I think Mrs. Talkington got to know about the Department of [Internal] Medicine and the potential it had for taking care of patents.”

Endowed faculty chairs provide funds to recruit and support the research activities of leading scholars. The gifts are invested for the long-term benefit of the university, and only part of the interest earnings may be spent each year. Over time, this enables the endowment to grow.

“The Talkington foundation has given us an endowment that will bring six endowed chairs — in other words, six new faculty members — each of whom will have a $1.5 million endowment to help build their research and education programs,” Berk said.

According to Jumper, Lubbock has only five rheumatologists and three physicians specializing in infectious disease. The Talkingtons’ gift creates an opportunity for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to hire a number of key researchers and educators that will almost double the number of internal medicine specialists serving Lubbock and the South Plains region.

“[The chairs] will be divided as we need to use them for what we call the cognitive disciplines, such as endocrinology, infectious diseases and rheumatology,” Jumper said.

Established in 1997, the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Charitable Foundation was created to benefit residents of Lubbock and make the community a better place to live and work for all.

“Mr. and Mrs. Talkington were innovative business people with a deep sense of community loyalty and appreciation of education.”

Tedd L. MitchellPresident
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

“Mr. and Mrs. Talkington were innovative business people with a deep sense of community loyalty and appreciation of education,” said Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, president of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. “A gift from the Talkington foundation would ensure that the personal treatment provided to Margaret would become the caring model we encourage our physicians and students to apply to every patient-physician relationship.”

The potential for the Talkingtons’ gift to make a difference in the standard of health care for Lubbock residents is substantial.

Every year, physicians in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington Department of Internal Medicine impact the lives of more than 100,000 patients, according to Berk.

“The Lubbock community will be served as more trained physicians in subspecialties are created,” Berk said. “Establishing these additional chairs in endocrinology, gastroenterology, infectious disease and rheumatology is essential to meet the current faculty and educational needs in the Department of Internal Medicine.”

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