Piper Trust makes $10M investment to improve health care - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Piper Trust makes $10M investment to improve health care

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Posted: Thursday, January 19, 2012 8:54 pm | Updated: 10:34 am, Fri Jan 20, 2012.

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has established a $10 million investment at Arizona State University to "bring catalytic change" to health care delivery, said Dr. Judy Jolley Mohraz, the trust's president and CEO.

"With this new investment from the Piper Trust, we will focus on every aspect of health care - from research and information systems to clinical treatment and health insurance - to improve health outcomes, focusing on Arizona, but with implications for the global problems," said ASU President Michael Crow.

The idea is to connect all areas of health care, from scientists and researchers to those who put into practice that information such as physicians and insurance companies, ultimately reducing costs and improving information for the community at large, said Sethuraman "Panch" Panchananthan, senior vice president for knowledge enterprise development.

"Basically, the system is broken and we need new ideas to fix it," Crow said.

The Piper investment will provide seed funding to support:

• Arizona Public Health Observatory's analysis of public health data from around the world to determine how to deal with issues such as swine and bird flu epidemics.

• ASU School of Nutrition and Health Promotion efforts toward good nutrition and exercise as part of the total health care system.

• Arizona Obesity Initiative's efforts with the Mayo Clinic to stem obesity, especially among youth and minority populations.

• ASU School of Biomedical Informatics projects with the Mayo Clinic to process health-related information at genetic and cellular, clinical and imaging, and public health levels.

• A new ASU School of the Science of Health Care Delivery to bring together experts from all aspects of health care to develop an affordable system of health care with excellent outcomes.

• ASU Policy Informatics Initiative to provide sophisticated information analysis to examine the issues and evaluate solutions.

• ASU Health Outcomes Knowledge Network to link people, centers and institutions working on the same health care issues.

• Arizona Health Transformation Network to link scientific discovery, health care delivery, and reimbursement for health services to achieve high-value patient-centric care.

• ASU School of Biological & Health Systems Engineering's efforts to advance the areas of neuroengineering, imaging, tissue engineering, genetic engineering, computational and synthetic biological engineering, and medical devices and diagnostics.

Implementation of the initiative will be headed by Elizabeth D. Capaldi, ASU executive vice president and provost, and Panchananthan.

For Capaldi, the additional funding means local and national changes to childhood obesity, something she is currently working on with the associates at the Mayo Clinic.

"ASU is uniquely capable of acting," Capaldi said about altering the course of obesity in the United States and abroad. "It's a huge university that is capable of taking on a huge problem."

The philanthropic mission of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust focuses on funding organizations in Maricopa County that support children, arts and culture, education, health care and medical research, religious organizations and older adults, according to the trust's website.

This new initiative hits many of the trust's goals, considering the statistic that one-in-four children are obese, Mohraz said. "What better way to help Arizona children?"

The continuing partnership between the Piper Trust and ASU reflects its success in the past. "We've seen a great return on investments with ASU," Mohraz said. "We've invested about $30 million in ASU have felt the results have been astounding. Every dollar has had extraordinary returns."

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