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Associate Director of Development
UI Foundation News
500 Alumni Center
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-3305

Release: Immediate

Campaign for UI endowed chair in rural medicine raises more than $350,000

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Leadership gifts from many Iowans have helped raise more than $350,000 to date to create an endowed chair in rural medicine at the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

The campaign to enhance the UI Department of Family Medicine is under way just as the number of UI College of Medicine students selecting the family medicine specialty exceeds the national average. In the 1998 UI medical class, 25 percent selected residencies in family medicine, compared with the national average of 16 percent.

The campaign coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Department of Family Medicine at the UI, and the 50th anniversary of the Iowa Academy of Family Medicine.

The fund-raising campaign is being conducted by the UI Foundation, in partnership with the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians and the Family Health Foundation of Iowa. The goal is to raise $1 million, which will be complemented by a $500,000 commitment by the UI College of Medicine.

"I am pleased by the early response to this campaign, which reflects a high level of interest and need for an endowed chair in rural medicine," said Dr. Robert Q. Christensen, president of the Family Health Foundation of Iowa and co-chair of the campaign. "These commitments indicate a clear understanding of the goals of the project, and a desire to improve the health care of rural Iowans."

This endowment will provide perpetual funding for the endowed chair in rural medicine. The goal of the endowed chair in rural medicine is to encourage medical students to consider a career in rural health, support physicians who make that commitment, lead research efforts in rural medicine, and improve methods for delivering health care to rural Iowans. The faculty member appointed to this position will work with an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals devoted to the care of Iowans.

The Family Health Foundation of Iowa, affiliated with the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians, has pledged $100,000 to the campaign. The UI Department of Family Medicine has pledged $50,000.

Campaign steering committee members have committed more than $100,000. Steering committee members, all from Iowa, are Dr. David A. Carlyle, Ames; Dr. Robert Q. Christensen, Carroll; Dr. Laine D. Dvorak, Humboldt; Dr. Thomas C. Evans, Johnston; Dr. John R. Hornberger, Manning; Dr. Robert A. Lee, Urbandale; Dr. M. Gene Parks, Centerville; Dr. Stephen D. Richards, Algona; Dr. Leslie E. Weber, Coralville; and Janet Wee, Ankeny.

The UI is nationally recognized for its large number of students selecting the specialty of family medicine. In the 1997 UI medical class, 27 percent of the graduates selected family medicine, compared with the 1997 national average of 17 percent. In 1996 Iowa's family medicine selection rate was 37 percent, the highest in the nation.

The UI College of Medicine's rural medicine program is ranked ninth in the nation and the family practice specialty is 10th best, according to March 1998 rankings by U.S. News & World Report. The magazine bases its rankings on a variety of criteria, including academic reputation.

For more information about the campaign for the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians Endowed Chair in Rural Medicine, contact Todd L. Reding, associate director of development, UI College of Medicine and UI Hospitals and Clinics. He may be reached at the UI Foundation at (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973 or by e-mail at

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel of support for private contributions to all areas of the UI. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to provide resources for professorships, scholarships, building renovations, equipment, technology, and other forms of support for the UI.