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University of Iowa Foundation Release


Jan. 8, 2008

Photo: Holding up a "thank-you" banner to Peregrine Charities created by patients at University of Iowa Children's Hospital are (L-R): Russell R. Wasendorf Sr., president and chairman of the board, Peregrine Charities; Connie Wasendorf, treasurer, Peregrine Charities; Michael Artman, M.D., physician-in-chief, UI Children's Hospital; Jody Kurtt, director of nursing and patient care service, UI Children's Hospital; and John A. Brandecker, executive director, UI Children's Hospital.

$150,000 from Peregrine Charities to benefit UI pediatrics

Peregrine Charities has announced two grants totaling $150,000 to the University of Iowa Foundation for projects that will advance pediatric research and patient care at the UI.

One grant of $100,000 will support research into rare pediatric diseases by establishing the Peregrine Charities Discovery Fund for Children's Medicine at the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

A second grant of $50,000 is for expansion of the pediatric palliative care program at University of Iowa Children's Hospital to care for young people facing life-threatening or chronic illness and to educate statewide care providers.

"We are honored to partner with Peregrine Charities in its quest to improve the lives of children. This exceptional and visionary support will enable us to attack childhood illnesses on two major fronts: research into the basis of rare diseases, and expanded services for children and families facing the consequences of these devastating conditions," said Michael Artman, M.D., professor and head, UI Department of Pediatrics, and physician-in-chief, UI Children's Hospital.

Artman explained that the Peregrine Charities Discovery Fund will provide crucial seed funding for pediatric medical research and allow the leadership of UI Children's Hospital to react to promising new ideas and projects that are within reach of finding a disease's cure.

The gift to expand UI Children's Hospital's palliative care program will enhance its efforts to address the psychological, social, emotional and spiritual needs of patients and families facing life-threatening or chronic illness, Artman said. The palliative care program includes pain control and management of symptoms, therapies that are intended to improve the child's quality of life, and support for families on how to deal with the emotional aspects of a chronic illness or death of a child, he added.

The grants to the UI were part of $265,000 in grants that Peregrine Charities made recently in support of several eastern Iowa hospitals, including Allen Hospital in Waterloo, Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Waterloo and Cedar Falls, which includes Sartori Memorial Hospital. Peregrine Charities has funded pediatric projects at the larger medical centers within the region's "hospital corridor" which stretches from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., to the University of Iowa.

"On behalf of my wife Connie and the rest of our family, we are fortunate to be able to create a closer connection with grantees in order to see the impact that is made from gifts to pediatric care providers, and the children who are served," said Peregrine Charities founder Russell R. Wasendorf Sr.

Peregrine Charities, with offices in Cedar Falls and Chicago, is a private 501(c)(3) foundation founded in 2004. Its mission is to support medical research for rare pediatric diseases and provide assistance with children's hospitalization and medical treatments. The mission was recently expanded to include formation of partnerships with local and regional health care facilities to help children in need. More information about Peregrine Charities is available on the Web at

UI Children's Hospital serves children and their families at its main campus in Iowa City and satellite clinics in communities throughout Iowa. A 180-bed "hospital within a hospital," UI Children's Hospital benefits from the sophisticated services and comprehensive resources of UI Hospitals and Clinics. "Child" magazine ranks UI Children's Hospital among the top 20 children's hospitals in the nation.

The UI acknowledges the UI Foundation as the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the university. For more information about the UI Foundation, visit its Web site at

STORY SOURCE: UI Foundation, P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-4550

MEDIA CONTACT(S): Forrest Meyer, Director, Communications, UI Foundation, 319-335-3305;; Patricia Campbell, Peregrine Charities, 312-775-3411

PHOTOS: A high-resolution image of Peregrine Charities officials with UI Children's Hospital officials is available at

A Web quality image of Peregrine Charities officials with UI Children's Hospital officials is available at