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The Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation Makes Multimillion-Dollar, Multi-Year Commitment in Cleveland to Create Pipeline of Future Doctors

Thursday, February 25, 2010 General News J E 4
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CLEVELAND, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation will make a significant investment in the city of Cleveland to create a medical education pipeline for students from traditionally underrepresented minorities and low-income backgrounds.

The first phase of the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation's Health Profession Pipeline Program is the creation of the Edwards Scholarship Endowment at Case Western Reserve University.

An initial investment of $10 million to $12 million over 10 years will establish an endowment for full-tuition scholarships for students to earn bachelor and medical degrees at Case Western Reserve. In addition, the foundation will provide a renewable grant to University Hospitals Case Medical Center to create the Edwards Fellowship and the Physicians Development Program.

Beginning in 2011, the Health Profession Pipeline Program will provide this scholarship opportunity to one student per year from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District's Cleveland School of Science and Medicine at John Hay Campus. As part of the effort, members of the Case Western Reserve community and UH Case Medical Center physicians will provide academic programming and individual mentoring.

"Mrs. Edwards believed deeply in the importance of giving underrepresented minority and low-income students greater opportunities to become physicians, and that they in turn could provide medical care to underserved populations," said Thomas M. McDonald, Cleveland distribution director for the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation.

The Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation was created by a bequest from the Joan C. Edwards Trust in 2006 at the time of Mrs. Edwards' death. Mrs. Edwards was a philanthropist and former jazz singer. Her husband, James, who died in 1991, was owner and CEO of National Mattress Company in Huntington, W.Va., where the couple lived most of their lives.

The foundation considers Cleveland an ideal location for this program because of the presence of a science and medicine high school and nationally ranked Case Western Reserve University, its School of Medicine and UH Case Medical Center.

Eugene T.W. Sanders, CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, said the mission and vision of the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine align seamlessly with the foundation's goals.

The program represents a significant step toward evolution of medical education pipelines, said Brian A. McDonald, the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation's executive director.

SOURCE Case Western Reserve University

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