An exam room at the Smith Family Clinic for Genomic Medicine has been named in honor of John and Patsy Shields, longtime supporters of the HudsonAlpha Foundation and the work being done at the Institute.
The Shields, who founded Century Auto, have supported HudsonAlpha’s breast and ovarian cancer research for years through the Tie the Ribbons event and the Breakthrough Breast Cancer Fund. Patsy is a breast cancer survivor, making that area of research very important to the family.
But their philanthropic passion goes beyond breast and ovarian cancer research. This new gift supports genomic medicine at the Smith Family Clinic. The clinic sees children and adults with rare undiagnosed disease and utilizes whole genome sequencing to diagnose and identify new treatments for those patients. John Shields explained the family’s reasons for the $100,000 gift to the clinic.
“The clinic is vitally important not just to the many families it helps, but also for the City of Huntsville,” said John Shields. “We have a reputation for cutting-edge technological advancements, and the clinic demonstrates that forward thinking.”
“We are honored to play a part in HudsonAlpha’s efforts to help those struggling with rare and undiagnosed genetic disorders and diseases,” said Patsy Shields.
“The John and Patsy Shields Exam Room is where we have some of our most meaningful interactions with patients. It’s where we get to know them and we begin to help them,” said Dr. David Bick, geneticist and chief medical officer for the clinic.
John and Patsy moved to Huntsville in 1969 to open their first car dealership. John retired as the company’s President and CEO in 1993 and was replaced at the helm by his daughter, Tracy Jones. Her husband, George Jones, serves as General Manager.
The Smith Family Clinic, which utilizes whole genome sequencing to diagnose patients with rare undiagnosed disease, is powered by HudsonAlpha, Children’s of Alabama and UAB-Medicine.