BOZEMAN — Montana State University (MSU) today announced a philanthropic gift of $101 million for its College of Nursing from Mark and Robyn Jones, founders of Goosehead Insurance Inc. (“Goosehead”) (NASDAQ: GHSD), as they seek to help address one of the most defining challenges of our time — access to health care, particularly for rural and frontier communities.
This gift — the largest ever given to a college of nursing in the U.S. — will:
- Provide funding for new facilities at each of the MSU College of Nursing’s five campuses in Bozeman, Billings, Great Falls, Kalispell and Missoula equipped with modern classrooms and state-of-the-art simulation labs, where nursing students will hone their critical thinking and practice their skills.
- Establish five endowed faculty professorships — the first in the history of the MSU College of Nursing. These endowed professorships will position MSU to attract top faculty talent during a nationwide nursing faculty shortage.
- Develop an endowed scholarship fund that will allow the MSU College of Nursing to keep the cost of nursing education affordable for all students.
- Create Montana’s only certified nurse midwifery program preparing doctoral level nurses who will significantly increase the number of specialized maternal health care providers capable and willing to provide services to rural and remote communities in Montana.
“It is hard to put into words how moved and excited all of us are at Montana State University by the generosity of the Joneses, who are helping to address some of the most critical health care disparity issues in Montana, particularly in the state’s rural areas,” said MSU President Waded Cruzado. “Straight from the hearts of Mark and Robyn, this gift will forever change health care in Montana, and it will serve as a model for the nation. Thanks to their vision, we will have access to tangible tools, such as high-quality simulation labs, new facilities across our nursing campuses, and more registered nurses, and doctor of nursing practice prepared nurse practitioners and nurse midwives.”
“This is a significant moment for MSU, as we estimate we will now be able to meet the state’s projected shortfall in baccalaureate-level registered nurses by 2030,” added MSU College of Nursing Dean Sarah Shannon.
Access to health care has been a critical issue across the state, with 52 of Montana’s 56 counties classified as medically underserved and health professional shortage areas by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. There are many counties in Montana lacking even one primary care, mental health or maternal care provider. The MSU College of Nursing is committed to producing the needed workforce and now, with this gift, has the opportunity to more than double the number of family nurse practitioners and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners graduating from MSU. These health practitioners are educated to address the key health challenges facing Montana, including an aging population, mental health and substance abuse.
"We both grew up visiting Montana with our families, and now it is one of the places we call home," said Robyn Jones. “We've seen first-hand the health care challenges that Montana faces, and we wanted to do something that will make an impact on the people of this beautiful state.”
"Whether in our community or our business, we've always believed that people come first," said Mark Jones. "Montana holds a special place in our hearts, and we look forward to working with the MSU College of Nursing to help transform the health care community here and nationwide."
The Joneses are the founders of Goosehead Insurance, based in Westlake, Texas, and Mark currently serves as Chairman and CEO of the company. Founded in 2003, Goosehead is a rapidly growing and innovative personal lines insurance agency that distributes its products and services through more than 1,800 offices in the United States with a market capitalization of $5 billion.