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Pfizer Foundation Supports Outreach, Research at FSU's Med School

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By Nancy Kinnally
Oct. 27, 2003

 TALLAHASSEE, Fla.-From rural high school students throughout Florida to families living in poverty in outlying areas of Haiti and Panama, many people will benefit from a $223,000 gift from the Pfizer Foundation to the Florida State University College of Medicine.

"The FSU College of Medicine is committed to supporting programs that expand health-care access, and we are pleased to have Pfizer as our partner in this effort," said Dr. J. Ocie Harris, dean of the medical school. "This grant from the Pfizer Foundation also will support research that will shed light on why some low-income populations don't achieve the same results from their medical care as higher-income populations."

A new initiative that brings rural high school students from throughout the state to FSU during the summer to learn about medical careers is among the programs benefitting from the gift.

In addition, teachers in rural and urban underserved schools will get training and continuing education that will enable them to conduct in-school science electives as part of the medical school's SSTRIDE outreach program, which is designed to channel students from medically underserved rural and inner-city populations into medical school.

The funds also will support FSUCares, a medical student organization dedicated to addressing unmet medical needs, both locally and abroad. The Pfizer Foundation's gift will enable more than 150 medical students to participate in international medical missions to Haiti and Panama over the next three years.

In addition to these outreach efforts, Pfizer is funding research at the medical school that seeks to determine how patients' health literacy affects whether they take their medications properly and whether they succeed in managing their illness. The study will focus on diabetic Medicaid and Medicare patients in the Florida Panhandle.

"The Pfizer Foundation is pleased to support the committed men and women at the Florida State University College of Medicine who are reaching out to help patients in need find a better quality of life," said Chuck Hardwick, president of the Pfizer Foundation and senior vice president, Worldwide Government and Public Affairs, Pfizer Inc. "We expect this to be the beginning of a partnership that will benefit many future physicians and medical students in the years to come."

The Pfizer Foundation Inc. is an independent charitable foundation established by Pfizer Inc. in 1953. The Foundation's mission is to promote access to quality health care and education, to nurture innovation and to support the community involvement of Pfizer people.