March 26, 2002

FORT WORTH, Texasâ??Osteopathic Heritage Foundations, of Columbus, Ohio, have established an endowed Distinguished Chair of clinical research at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth, home of the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The $1.5 million endowment supports a growing clinical research team that conducts patient-based clinical research. Funds from the endowment will also provide stipends for students who are simultaneously earning medical degrees and doctorates in biomedical sciences as they conduct clinical research projects in their final years of medical school.

The clinical research team consists of physician researchers, basic scientists, epidemiologists, statisticians, and medical students, including those who are earning combined D.O. and Ph.D. degrees.

In addition to increasing its clinical research, the health science center will use the funding to train more physician scientists capable of conducting their own clinical research programs.

The health science center now plans to conduct a nationwide search for a physician with an established record in clinical research for the Distinguished Chair.

â??The endowed chair in clinical research brings a new dimension of coordination to our expanding quest for discovery, leading to preventive measures, early diagnosis, and enhanced treatment for cancer, Alzheimerâ??s disease, tuberculosis, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few research areas,â? said Benjamin Cohen, D.O., health science center provost and senior vice president for health affairs.

This is the first gift from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations to the health science center. The Ohio-based foundation supports osteopathic medical education and research, as well as programs that improve health and quality of life in central and southeastern Ohio.

â??The foundationâ??s decision to establish the endowment was based upon the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicineâ??s distinguished history and high quality programs,â? said Rick Vincent, Foundation President. â??We are proud to support TCOM in this way and to recognize the excellent students, staff, faculty and administration, noting especially Dr. Cohen, provost and Dr. David Richards, former UNTHSC President.â?

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is Texasâ?? only college of osteopathic medicine and one of only 19 in the country. Roughly three-fourths of TCOM alumni practice primary care, such as family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics/gynecology and pediatrics. This is the highest proportion among the stateâ??s eight medical schools and one of the highest in the country. TCOMâ??s Physician Assistant Studies Program offers a masterâ??s of science degree with a major in Physician Assistant Studies, one of the growing number of PA programs educating these mid-level medical professionals at the masterâ??s level.

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