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University of Iowa News Release


June 14, 2010

Gift supports UI College of Public Health Building project

A gift of $105,000 from Rick and Peg Breon of Grand Rapids, Mich., will advance public health education and research at the University of Iowa by helping to construct the first permanent home for the UI College of Public Health. Rick Breon earned a masters degree in hospital and health administration from the college in 1980.

The gift, made through the UI Foundation, is part of the College of Public Health's ongoing $15 million fundraising campaign, Building Today for a Healthy Tomorrow, which is focused on financing the college's new academic building, as well as providing funds for student and faculty support and other programmatic development. In recognition of the Breons' gift for the facility, an area in the building will be named in their honor.

"Throughout his distinguished career as a health care executive, Rick Breon has been a visionary leader in his field and an active teacher and mentor of health management students," said Sue Curry, dean of the College of Public Health. "With this support, the Breons are helping to ensure that the college has state-of-the art facilities in which to prepare future leaders for the health field."

Rick Breon is the president and CEO of Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, an integrated health care delivery system including eight hospitals, a 400-member physician group and a 600,000-member health plan. He has held numerous health care executive positions over more than 30 years in the field. Breon served as president of the Department of Health Management and Policy's Alumni Board during 2001-02 and he received the college's Outstanding Alumni Award in 2003.

The College of Public Health's new $47.7 million facility, currently under construction on a site formerly occupied by the UI International Center, is scheduled for completion in fall 2011. It will provide classrooms and gathering space for the more than 380 students enrolled in public health degree programs, as well as offices for faculty in the college's five academic departments and core administrative staff.

The new facility -- integrating "green" design features such as reflective roofing, use of natural lighting, permeable paving systems, and native-species planting areas -- will serve as a showcase for sustainability and environmental awareness. The UI intends to achieve Gold-level certification for this building within the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System.

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 website at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications and External Relations, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACT: Dan McMillan, 319-335-6835,