MIAMI (June 1, 2009) The Green Family Foundation (GFF), a private, non-profit organization that supports social programs dedicated to improving community health and elevating universal socio-economic conditions, announced today a $10 million gift, including state match, to fund a community medicine program that is the cornerstone of Florida International University’s College of Medicine.
The gift is among the ten biggest ever made to FIU and is eligible for matching funds through the State of Florida’s Major Gifts Challenge Grant Program, making its total impact $10 million. The money will be used to establish the Green Family Medicine & Society Program Endowment to support Medicine & Society, a groundbreaking four-year curriculum at the College of Medicine. The curriculum includes NeighborhoodHELPTM, a program through which medical students will work with colleagues in other disciplines to help families in some of South Florida’s underserved neighborhoods.
The Green Family Foundation gift is eligible for a Batchelor Foundation challenge grant worth up to $3 million. With state matching funds, both gifts together could ultimately mean a total of $16 million for the College of Medicine.
“Driven by the strength of its growing medical program, FIU has become an emerging player within the national health education community. This partnership is the perfect synergy of local community outreach and education. FIU’s hands-on community approach parallels GFF’s vision in helping to serve the communities of South Florida,” said Kimberly Green, president of the Green Family Foundation.
The Green family and its foundation are longtime champions of local higher education and FIU. For more than two decades, they have supported FIU’s Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum by underwriting the Steven & Dorothea Green Critics’ Lecture Series. In 1997, a $2.5 million gift by the Greens established endowments for the museum and the Green Library at University Park, which FIU named after Steven and Dorothea Green in recognition of their generosity.
“At FIU we have a long history of doing great things for the community together with the Green family” said FIU President Modesto A. Maidique. “This latest example of their generosity and vision will impact generations of doctors and patients in deep and meaningful ways – in South Florida and beyond.”
Founded in 1991 by Steven J. Green, former United States Ambassador to Singapore, the Green Family Foundation is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting social programs that positively impact global health and alleviate poverty.
Currently, the Foundation supports several programs in South Florida, including Youth Expressions, a not-for-profit program committed to helping at-risk urban youth in Miami.
Overseen by President Kimberly Green, GFF, in collaboration with the Earth Institute at Columbia University, is funding the Millennium Village Project (MVP) in Haiti, which is a community-driven program tackling the toughest challenges of extreme poverty in order to achieve the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals and eradicate extreme poverty by 2015. Within the MVP effort, GFF also supports and funds the Green Family Community Health program at Project Medishare, an organization that executes many of the surgical and medical care trips to Haiti through the community health programs and is a hands-on service delivery program in rural Haiti. GFF contributes to Medishare, by helping to empower rural Haitians to implement their community based medical delivery program.
“As a family and a foundation, we have long been interested in supporting programs that foster sustainable health and education initiatives,” said Ambassador Steven Green, who chairs the Green Family Foundation. “We see this gift as an investment in a program that will become a model for medical schools across the nation and around the world.”
Medicine & Society, a new model for medical education, aims to prepare physicians to not only treat the disease, but also to assess and address the non-medical causes that affect health outcomes. Students will learn to approach the treatment of disease from a “cell to society” perspective, incorporating both molecular and societal factors. The curriculum integrates ethics, public health principles, the social determinants of health, cultural competency, interdisciplinary experiences, and household community visits.
“This endowment will be put to good use, preparing socially aware and responsive physicians to practice medicine in a compassionate and comprehensive manner,” said Dr. John Rock, founding dean of the FIU College of Medicine. “The ultimate goal of the Medicine & Society curriculum is to enable students to gain an understanding of factors that affect personal community health care, thus producing culturally competent physicians. They will do this by visiting patients at home and gaining an understanding of all the factors that affect their health and their health decisions. We welcome the active participation of Green Family Foundation President Kimberly Green, who will serve as founding chair of the Medicine & Society Community Advisory Board.”
The FIU College of Medicine, which will welcome its first class of 43 students in August, is expected to generate 66,000 new jobs and have an annual economic impact of more than $8.9 billion by 2025, according to a study by Tripp Umbach of Pittsburgh. NeighborhoodHELP is expected to contribute with significant healthcare costs savings. According to the study, increased access to education, preventive care and research will save Florida taxpayers hundreds of millions in healthcare costs by 2020.
About the Green Family Foundation:
The Green Family Foundation’s (www.greenff.org) mission is to make a positive and meaningful impact in communities both at home and abroad. We provide funding and resources to organizations that support education, global health and community development. GFF empowers underserved communities to fight the cycle of extreme poverty, leading to sustainable programs that improve lives.
About the FIU College of Medicine:
The College of Medicine was approved in 2006 by the Florida Board of Governors and the Florida Legislature. In 2008, it received preliminary accreditation by the Liaison Committee for Medical Education of the AAMC and will admit its first class in the fall of 2009. Among the innovative elements of the FIU College of Medicine is a program called NeighborhoodHELP, which will send medical students along with their counterparts in social work, nursing and public health, into the community from the onset of their academic programs. The FIU College of Medicine is expected to have a multi-billion-dollar economic impact on Miami-Dade County, bringing thousands of jobs to the area and eventually contributing millions to the state coffers every year. For more information visit http://medicine.fiu.edu/
Florida International University was founded in 1965 and is Miami’s only public research university. With a student body of more than 38,000, its 17 colleges and schools offer more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations and law. FIU has been classified by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching as a “High Research Activity University” and now qualifies as a “Very High Research University”. In 2006 FIU was authorized to establish a medical school, which will welcome its first class in August 2009. FIU’s College of Law received accreditation in the fastest time allowed by the American Bar Association.