Dear Colleague:

I'm happy to inform you of a multi-million-dollar grant announced today by Sentara Healthcare that will benefit Old Dominion University as well as Hampton Roads by improving health care and reducing inequities.

Sentara has committed $2 million each to Old Dominion and Norfolk State University to work toward the creation of a joint School of Public Health, an initiative we strongly support. The goal will be to focus on underserved communities in the region.

In addition, Sentara will provide up to $3 million in grants to foster collaborative public health programs among Old Dominion, Norfolk State and Eastern Virginia Medical School. Finally, Sentara will allot $3 million for community organizations, making its total commitment $10 million. The initiative as a whole will be known as the Sentara Healthier Communities Fund.

I'm proud of the significant role Old Dominion has played in the region's health-care ecosystem. ODU produces the largest number of health sciences graduates in the area, as well as the greatest percentage who stay in Hampton Roads to provide health care, helping diversify the workforce at the same time. We also have the second-largest percentage of STEM-H graduates among Virginia's doctoral institutions. In addition, we recently helped launch the Hampton Roads Biomedical Research Consortium.

Sentara's substantial investment - for which we are grateful - will help ODU make an even greater impact. It will create opportunities for our faculty, staff and students. It will add momentum to our partnerships with other key players in the region. Most important, it will enable us to improve health care in Hampton Roads, particularly in the communities with the greatest need.

I look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming months.


John R. Broderick


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