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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Academics & Research

College of Medicine keeps the dough rolling with major grant


A grant from the John M. O’Quinn foundation will fully fund tuition for 10 students in the College of Medicine’s second-year class. | File Photo/The Cougar

The College of Medicine has received a $3.5 million grant from the John M. O’Quinn Foundation that will give 10 students of the medical school’s second-year class a full four-year scholarship, according to a UH news release.

Months after an anonymous donor gave the College of Medicine $3 million and weeks after Humana gave $15 million, the donation from the John M. O’Quinn Foundation will also help fund startup costs, faculty, labs and a household-centered health care program for under-served communities.

“This added financial incentive will help us attract the best and brightest medical students who have a passion for primary care,” said President Renu Khator in a news release.

The University announced Friday that it had its second best year of fundraising with $145 million donated for Fiscal Year 2018, bested by only last year when the “Here, We Go” campaign began.

The medical school is still in the approval stages. The State Legislature needs to approve funding for it when it convenes in 2019. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and Liaision Committee on Medical Education will also need to signal approval for the college.

The Coordinating Board will vote Oct. 25 to allow the college to grant medical degrees.

The household-centered health care program funded by the grant will have students from the colleges of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, optometry and social work each work with families in under-served communities, including Third Ward, according to the news release.

The teams of students will examine the family for four years and provide monthly home visits, health education and coaching.

“There’s no substitute for doctors taking time to understand a patient’s situation and their struggles,” said College of Medicine Dean Stephen Spann. “Our students will help these families navigate the complex maze of the health care system while also gaining a real-world perspective. Ultimately, it will improve health outcomes and make them better doctors.”

John O’Quinn, a Law Center alumnus, established his foundation in 1986. O’Quinn died in 2009 and had willed his entire estate to the foundation.

The College of Medicine’s second-year class will have 30 students in total.

The University hopes to raise $40 million privately of the $450 million needed for the College of Medicine’s startup costs. UH has raised $34.6 million so far, according to a news release.

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