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Danville Regional Foundation Awards $822,500 to Averett

March 9, 2011

The Danville Regional Foundation has awarded $822,500 to Averett University for its expanded health sciences initiative. The foundation and the university share a commitment to improving the quality of life in the Dan River region. The grant forms a significant investment by the Danville Regional Foundation in the long-term economic revitalization of the region through Averett's initiative to increase the number of health sciences academic programs it offers and increase bachelor's degree attainment among health care professionals.

"We are deeply grateful for the Danville Regional Foundation's dedication to the economic revitalization of this region and their support of Averett's strategic growth in the number and quality of the academic programs we offer," said Dr. Tiffany M. Franks, Averett's president.

The Danville Regional Foundation grant will support Averett University's goal of responding to the regional and national shortage of health care professionals, and the career interests of its current and prospective students, by expanding the university's health sciences academic offerings. Specifically, the grant monies will be used to upgrade the science laboratories on Averett's Danville campus, add new medical simulation and clinical laboratories, and fund additional faculty positions in the health sciences.

Through its expanded health sciences initiative, Averett University seeks to build on its history of preparing its graduates for successful careers in all aspects of healthcare and respond to the needs of the job market.

"Transforming our region will demand the collaboration of many organizations and individuals," said Franks. "Averett is proud to stand with the Danville Regional Foundation and make a bold move toward developing new academic programs that will offer more educational and career opportunities for the region's students, and respond to the national and regional shortages of health care professionals."

University leaders believe that graduating more health care professionals with strong practical knowledge and the critical-thinking skills that are the hallmarks of a liberal arts education will improve the quality of healthcare in the region over the long term. To achieve such significant shifts requires collaboration and support like this grant from the Danville Regional Foundation and the recently announced $500,000 gift from the E. Stuart James Grant Charitable Trust Foundation.

"It is impossible to overrate the importance of partnership and support to bringing about impactful change in our region," said Buddy Rawley, vice president of institutional advancement. "Looking at recent good news stories in our area, you can see that they came about through people working together like the Danville Regional Foundation and Averett University."