CONTACT: DAN MCMILLAN
College of Public Health
Phone: (319) 335-6835
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242KAREN HANSEN
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa
Phone: (515) 237-3611
Release: April 9, 2001
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa gives $500,000 to UI for community
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Public Health has established
its first fully endowed professorship in community health as a result of a
$500,000 gift from Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. The Wellmark
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Professorship in Community Health will support
a nationally distinguished faculty member who has a noted academic and research
record. The gift from Wellmark was made through the UI Foundation.
Dr. John B. Lowe, professor and head of the Department of Community and
Behavioral Health, said he expects the gift from Wellmark will help assure
that this new department, formed in 1999 along with the College of Public
Health, becomes one of the best in the nation.
"The department has a mission to provide national leadership in the
area of health promotion and disease prevention," Lowe said. "Our
faculty will develop real-world models to improve our knowledge of the science
of community health. Understanding how to create better partnerships with
the community, empowering communities to become healthier and improving the
social capital of the community will improve the health of Iowans and reduce
health care costs."
John Forsyth, chairman and CEO of Wellmark Inc., said, "The Wellmark
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Professorship in Community Health will provide
Iowas health care professionals, community leaders and public health
officials with the top-notch education and research needed to drive the creation
of community initiatives in preventive health services and health promotion.
"This gift aligns squarely with the mission of Wellmark Blue Cross
and Blue Shield, which is to improve the health of the people of Iowa and
South Dakota. As such we are pleased to partner with The University of Iowa
and its College of Public Health and to make this investment in health improvement
in Iowa," Forsyth added.
The UI recognized the gift from Wellmark by naming Wellmark Blue Cross and
Blue Shield a Founding Partner in the College of Public Health. Founding Partners
are those organizations and individuals who contribute a minimum of $250,000
to the college, helping to build a foundation for enduring leadership in public
health education, research, policy analysis and community service.
In October 2000, following a year of planning and growth, the College of
Public Health was named the 29th accredited school of public health in the
United States. The UIs is the only accredited school of public health
Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, headquartered in Des Moines, provides
health care and related health services to more than 1.3 million Iowans. As
part of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Wellmark Blue Cross and
Blue Shield is one of 46 plans in a national network that insures nearly 78
The Wellmark gift is part of the universitys planned comprehensive
campaign to advance the UIs strategic goals for the years 2000-2005.
The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions to all
areas of the university. Foundation staff work with alumni and friends to
generate funds for scholarships, professorships, facilities improvements,
equipment purchases, research and other UI initiatives.