Remembering Nancy: Alison Volk Sets Up Educational Fund to Honor Mother

When her mother lost her battle with cancer in 2014, Alison Volk knew she wanted to honor her mother in a way that spoke to her passions and values.

In 2019, she realized that goal when she established an educational fund in her mother’s memory, dedicated to UT Southwestern medical students who manage free clinics. The choice was apropos: Nancy Grove Volk not only spent more than 16 years at the UTSW clinic, but she was also instrumental in its longevity.

“In 2000 Nancy organized the free medical clinic of North Dallas Shared Ministries,” her obituary explained. “She negotiated participation of Southwestern Medical School, and gradually expanded the clinic’s programs to include services such as dental care, immunizations, podiatry, and women’s services. Serving about 4000 uninsured patients a year, Nancy oversaw the efforts of about 200 volunteers. She served as the clinic’s director until September 2014.”

The nonprofit her daughter, the president of Volk PR, founded will provide UTSW students with the funds to attend an annual conference that will provide them continuing education on student-run free clinics.

“My mother, Nancy Grove Volk, had a heart for Dallas’s underserved and worked passionately to provide much needed medical and dental services for them,” Volk explained. “She found inspiration not only internally, but also from the selfless and enthusiastic service of UT Southwestern Medical School students. They managed the free clinic that she founded/volunteered at every day for over 15 years.”

Volk worked with UT Southwestern’s Office of Development to set up the fund, and then set to work hosting a giveback event on Nov. 11, just in time for her own birthday. The event, held at Elizabeth W Boutique and Tulum in the Shops of Highland Park, offered shopping, champagne, light bites, and an after-party with a tarot card reader.

Raffle tickets were offered for $5 each giving guests a chance to win prizes, which totaled in value over $3,000. Included in the raffle were prizes from Elizabeth W, Sprinkles, Tulum, Meso Maya, La Ventana, Roots Juices, Dear Clark, Terlingo, Susan Posnick, and a signed book by Leonard Volk.

“It’s taken some time for me to deeply reflect on how I could provide a lasting tribute to my mother that honored her life and her values,” Volk said. “I now feel that I have the perfect solution!”

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, Digital Editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at

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