Our History & Mission
Fueled by frustration and driven by passion, the lives of Dorothy Weston Gibbons and Dr. Dixie Melillo have been filled with firsts.
Dorothy established the first PR department at Bayshore Medical Center where she first met Dr. Dixie, one of the first female surgeons to graduate from UTMB. With camera in hand, Dorothy began to chronicle the startling number of women with late-stage breast cancer coming to see Dr. Dixie. Frustrated that breast cancer awareness and access to care was sorely lacking, the two women started their quest to educate. Soon they established The Rose, the first nonprofit breast cancer organization based on the insured covering the costs of the uninsured. The Rose has been in operation since 1986.
From a time long before Pink Ribbons covered the landscape, Dorothy and Dr. Dixie's passionate advocacy established The Rose as an acclaimed model of breast health care. From mammograms to biopsies to treatment, The Rose excels in advanced digital imaging, mobile mammography, patient navigation, and medical excellence.
Other firsts include establishing the Physicians Network, setting up the nationally acclaimed Empower Her® Sponsorship Program offering women navigation to screening, diagnosis, and treatment, and creation of the Breast Health Collaborative of Texas.
The Co-Founders' determination to ensure that all women are heard and that all women have quality care is rooted in their own humble beginnings and cemented by the numerous encounters with patients through the years. Reminded almost daily that access to care in Texas is still not guaranteed, that women still must make their way through a medical maze that is both confusing and, at times seemingly insurmountable, they have ensured that The Rose is more than a medical facility, and is, in fact, a caring community.
Since the beginning, The Rose has depended upon community support. Civic groups, foundations, corporations and individuals along with the unwavering commitment of employees, physicians and volunteers all helped to create an organization that has changed the lives of countless women and families.
Because every woman deserves The Rose. Every woman deserves quality breast health care.
The Rose reduces deaths from breast cancer by providing access to screening, diagnostics and treatment services to any woman regardless of her ability to pay. The Rose addresses any barrier that might keep a woman from caring for her own needs. Studies show women often put personal needs on hold while tending to the needs of others. Many women cite costs and lack of access as reasons they delay preventive services. Yet early detection mammography screenings are the most powerful weapons in the fight against breast cancer—which is 98% curable when detected early.
Every service offered by The Rose is available to the uninsured through one of many sponsorship programs. In fact, the whole purpose of the Empower Her® Sponsorship Program is to ensure any woman has access to breast cancer screening, diagnosis and care. From the initial screening mammogram through diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound and biopsies, as well as access to treatment—all are part of the quality breast health care offered at The Rose.
Same day diagnosis, on-site physicians dedicated to breast health care, advanced digital technology—all this reflects The Rose's emphasis on quality and excellence. The Rose collaborates with the best medical organizations in Texas and reaches women from Matagorda to Shelby Counties.
Our service area has no boundaries,
our caring has no limits.