$10 million gift boosts Medical School, Duluth’s Native American health initiatives

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A $10 million gift from an anonymous donor will establish a Native American Research Center of Excellence at the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus. The gift — the largest ever to the Medical School’s Duluth campus — will support collaboration with American Indian and Alaska Native communities to improve their health through research, leadership, and education.

The Duluth campus is nationally renowned for its efforts to improve health care access and outcomes in rural Minnesota and in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

“Minnesota has some of the best health outcomes, and yet we know that we have some of the largest health disparities,” says Regional Campus Dean Paula Termuhlen, M.D. “The idea of creating the research center around all things Native American in regard to health and science is something that we’re really excited about.”

Medical School faculty and staff will help to determine how the gift will be used and which topics in health disparities are most critical for Native American communities in Minnesota. The gift will support the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team (focused on dementia and diabetes in Native American communities), full-tuition scholarships for Native American students, an endowed professorship in Native American health equity, and pipeline programs for the Center of American Indian and Minority Health.  

Published on October 18, 2017