July 9, 2002

FORT WORTH, Texas â?? Dallas Southwest Osteopathic Physicians, Inc. (DSWOP) has donated $1.2 million, the single largest gift in its history, to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to create an endowed chair in clinical geriatrics.

The endowment is intended to serve as a permanent catalyst for expanded clinical geriatric services to older adults and their caregivers in North Texas. In addition, it allows the health science center to provide expert training and mentoring in geriatrics for osteopathic medical students, residents in training, and geriatric fellows.

A non-profit organization, DSWOP was established with proceeds from the 1983 sale of Stevens Park Osteopathic Hospital. It has since distributed over $11 million in grants to more than 150 different organizations.

â??DSWOP continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to osteopathic medicine and UNT Health Science Center,â? said Joseph LaManna, D.O., DSWOP chairman. â??With this gift, weâ??ve more than doubled the amount of support weâ??ve provided to the health science center over the years.â?

Previous grants from DSWOP to UNT Health Science Center totaled $1.187 million. DSWOP has provided the primary funding for the Continuing Medical Education office since 1985, a total of $980,000. In 1992, it also established a loan/scholarship program for senior medical students. To date, 11 medical students have participated in the program.

The endowed chair in clinical geriatrics is the first among all osteopathic medical schools. It further cements the health science centerâ??s commitment to improving the care provided to the growing population of those over age 65. The center was among the first in the country to offer specialized medical training in geriatric care and conduct research into aging issues.

UNT Health Science Center was the first medical school in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to establish a geriatric fellowship program so that physicians could receive advanced training in caring for elderly patients.

â??Older patients need specialized care because they live with a greater variety of health problems and take more medications,â? said Janice Knebl, D.O., a fellowship-trained geriatrician who serves as chief of the health science centerâ??s Division of Geriatrics.

In addition to its clinical geriatrics programs, UNT Health Science Center is also home to some of the leading research in the field of aging. At its Institute for Aging and Alzheimer’s Disease Research, scientists are examining ways to detect Alzheimerâ??s disease early and testing new drug therapies that offer hope for the prevention or treatment of neurological disorders

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