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CONTACT: SHEILA BALDWIN
Assistant Director of Development
Departmental Campaigns College of Medicine
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
UI Foundation News
500 Levitt Center for University Advancement
Iowa City IA 52242
Phone: (319) 335-3305 or (800) 648-6973

Release: Nov. 2, 2000

New UI faculty position will focus on health care for rural Iowa families

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Academy of Family Physicians (IAFP) and the University of Iowa Foundation have raised more than $1.5 million to establish the first endowed chair in the department of family medicine in the UI College of Medicine. The chair will focus on issues surrounding the delivery of top-quality health care to rural Iowa families.

The physician selected in a nationwide search to fill the Iowa Academy of Family Physicians Endowed Chair in Rural Medicine will provide leadership to the UI's family practice researchers and strategic direction in the development of a rural-research network in the state of Iowa.

Dr. Cynda Johnson, head of the UI department of family medicine, hailed the endowment of the chair as an important step forward for Iowa families and the physicians who serve them.

"In Iowa, family physicians are the primary health care providers, particularly for our rural population. To support these physicians and to encourage more young professionals to focus on rural family medicine, it is essential that the UI continue to provide leadership and develop practical ideas that are effective in the real world of rural health care. The physician who holds this chair will be integral to ensuring we can do just that," Johnson said.

The success of the endowed chair fund-raising campaign was celebrated at the Des Moines Club in Des Moines on Oct. 26 during the IAFP's annual meeting. At the celebration, contributors to the campaign heard remarks from several speakers underscoring the importance of the new faculty position to Iowa families, the physicians who serve them, and the UI.

More than 125 individuals, companies and organizations contributed to the campaign, including Pioneer Hi-Bred International, based in Des Moines, which gave $25,000. The department of family medicine expects to announce the chairholder in 2001.

The campaign for the IAFP Endowed Chair in Rural Medicine is part of the university's planned comprehensive campaign to advance the UI's strategic goals for the years 2000-2005. The comprehensive campaign, which is in its early stages and for which no final dollar goal has been established, will be conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation and will raise funds to substantially increase the number of endowed faculty chairs and professorships, as well as the number of UI merit- and need-based scholarships; support eight new educational and research facilities; fund outreach and service programs to benefit individuals, families and communities throughout the state of Iowa; build the UI's endowment; and launch new initiatives in the arts, sciences, business, health care and other fields.

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 endowed chairs and professorships, research, scholarships, facilities improvements, equipment purchases and other UI initiatives.