Advocating for Women's Health

Dr. Jan Rogers

Dr. Cheryl "Jan" Rogers is using her life insurance policy to put a quality UofL education within reach of deserving students.

Obstacles have never deterred Dr. Cheryl "Jan" Rogers. When she was denied acceptance at what was then an all-male medical school in Texas, Jan pursued her initial medical studies in Mexico before being granted admission to the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Then, a friend's recommendation led her to ask a wealthy woman to consider financing her education. On the condition of satisfactory academic progress and anonymity, the woman agreed, creating a friendship that continued for several decades.

This type of grit and determination served Dr. Rogers well throughout her career. In a career largely devoted to veterans' medical centers, where she was among the first female physicians, Dr. Rogers set up protocols and procedures that brought women's health into the mainstream of veterans' medicine.

Without a budget to acquire up-to-date mammography equipment, Dr. Rogers designed—and received approval for—a Veterans Administration/Department of Defense "sharing agreement" to provide this service.

Her "Texas A" Clinic so significantly surpassed the Veterans' Health Administration (VHA) goal for kept appointments that she drew national attention. "I didn't know they were watching," Dr. Rogers recalls, "but the VHA flew me to Washington, DC, recognizing my clinic for Best Practice for Breast Cancer Screening." This recognition was followed by a $10,000 grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs in El Paso, Texas, for outreach programs for women veterans.

2013 Rotary Award Presentation

2013 Rotary Award Presentation

Throughout her career, Dr. Rogers has looked back on her studies at University of Louisville with gratitude. She states, "Leadership skills are so important, and I learned them at UofL. I consider leadership as choosing the harder right over the easier wrong with integrity." This understanding served her well as co-chair of the Veterans' Administration Ethics Committee from 1993 to 2003.

Since her retirement, Dr. Rogers has continued to lend her medical expertise within and beyond the veterans community, for which she received a 2016 Achievement Medal Award for Civilian Service from the Department of Army.

While working with a financial adviser, Dr. Rogers realized that she no longer needed the life insurance policy toward which she had been making regular payments since its inception. By making the University of Louisville the policy's owner and beneficiary, Dr. Rogers has established a scholarship fund in the School of Medicine to support medical students, with a preference for female recipients.

To learn more about including the University of Louisville in your estate plans, including how to make UofL the beneficiary and/or owner of a life insurance policy, please contact the Office for Estate and Gift Planning at plannedgifts@louisville.edu or (502) 852-5051.