Foundation that supports Texas cancer agency to shut doors in 60 days

Joshua Fechter

The state’s troubled cancer agency suffered another blow Tuesday after the foundation that supports the agency announced it would close its doors within 60 days.

The CPRIT Foundation, which is undergoing investigation along with the agency it supports, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, sought to rebrand itself as the Texas Cancer Coalition to distance itself from controversy surrounding the Institute. 

Officials from the Institute foiled that plan by asking the Texas Attorney General’s Office to make sure the foundation gave its remaining funds to the state.

The foundation’s executive director Jennifer Stevens told the House Committee on Transparency in State Operations that the foundation would still have $258,457 of its $613,513 remaining cash on hand to pay for its lingering commitments to CPRIT among other costs, according to the Austin American-Statesman. 

CPRIT came under fire in 2012 for mismanaging three grants totalling $56 million, and also received criticism for its lack of transparency and insistence on keeping its donor list confidential. Voters approved the agency’s formation in 2007. The agency received $3 billion in bonds for the purpose of funding cancer research statewide.

The Legislature established the foundation in 2009 and tasked it with raising private donations to support salaries for the institution’s executives.