St. David’s Foundation Supports Health Care for the Underserved at the School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin

Dec. 8, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas — The School of Nursing at The University of Texas at Austin will use a $3 million gift to permanently endow the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Research in Underserved Populations (CHPR).

The interdisciplinary center will be renamed for St. David’s.

“We are very pleased that this gift from the St. David’s Foundation will allow the center to continue to support the important and innovative health-related research of faculty from many departments at the University of Texas at Austin,” said Alexa Stuifbergen, dean of the School of Nursing.

This is first time St. David’s Foundation has funded a research endowment.

“We were particularly attracted to this research center because it aims to optimize health outcomes for the populations that we serve: vulnerable, low-income, uninsured and otherwise underserved patients," said Earl Maxwell, the foundation's chief executive.

Since it was founded in 1999, the center received $4.1 million from the National Institute of Nursing Research, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The center funded almost $600,000 in pilot studies led by researchers from across campus – including the Schools of Nursing and Social Work and the Colleges of Education, Communications and Liberal Arts.

Pilot studies generated $14 million in research grants for full-scale research projects.

Center researchers have investigated substance abuse prevention among homeless youth; causes of premature birth, especially among Mexican-American women; memory improvement among older adults; depression among older adults; high-risk behaviors among school-aged youth; nutrition among child bearing-aged women; education and support for diabetic Hispanics; and other topics related to health promotion and disease prevention.

Maxwell said findings produced by the center's researchers will help St. David's Foundation decide how to deploy its resources.

“It will help us to better understand the unique healthcare challenges facing our community in the coming years,” he said, “and should lead to innovative interventions and services that will benefit those most in need.”

Note: Video, photos and audio of the event is available.

For more information, contact: Tim Green, Office of the Vice President for Research.