Trust’s $ 10 million gift will improve health care at a Phoenix clinic

As Arizonians face job and health insurance losses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Phoenix charity is investing $ 10 million to improve medical care for uninsured people.

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust is donating the money to Creighton University, which enables an increased number of health science students at the University of Phoenix, one operated by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, the directors of St. Vincent de Paul medical clinic in Phoenix to occupy organizations said Thursday.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the impact of failure to prepare and respond to widespread, untreated health inequalities in our community,” said Mary Jane Rynd, President and CEO of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, in a written statement. “The need is urgent and our answer cannot wait. Now is the time for higher education, social services and philanthropy to join forces and harness our collective capacities to create a healthier and more resilient future.”

Creighton University’s Phoenix campus faculty, as well as third and fourth year medical students from the Jesuit Catholic School, have volunteered at the clinic on a monthly basis for more than a decade. With the additional funding, the St. Vincent de Paul Clinic will now also serve as the primary educational facility for Creighton first and second year medical students, officials said.

Rynd told the Republic of Arizona that Piper, a philanthropist and wife of Motorola founder Paul Galvin, was a long-time supporter of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and believed in their work. She also firmly believed in health care as the foundation for achieving anything in life, Rynd said.

“We know she would have thought this was important,” said Rynd, adding that the aim of the donation is to bring about lasting change in the clinic. “We believe this can fundamentally change public health for the underserved. It will be huge. … Hopefully this will create a healthier community.”

The charitable foundation has long been committed to the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Phoenix. So much money has been donated to the nonprofit clinic at 420 W. Watkins Road that it has been dubbed the St. Vincent de Paul Virginia G. Piper Medical and Dental Clinic.

Other health science students and faculties from Creighton will also be among the clinic’s volunteer staff, including Nursing, Medical Assistant, Pharmacy, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy, who use a team-based approach to patient care.

“As Creighton health science students spin through the clinic, not only is clinical training happening, but an experience at the heart of Jesuit education – cura personalis, or the physical, emotional, and spiritual care of the whole person.” Dr. Randy Richardson, regional dean of the Phoenix campus at Creighton University School of Medicine, said in a written statement.

The Creighton School of Medicine plans to recruit and employ a Virginia G. Piper Chair of Medicine and a Chief Medical Officer who will be stationed at the clinic.

The donation is not the first time the charitable foundation has made a donation to Creighton. In 2018, the Trust awarded Creighton a grant to build a $ 100 million health sciences campus in Phoenix.

The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Health Science Trust building, which houses Creighton’s health science program, is due to open in September.

Reach health reporter Stephanie Innes at [email protected] or at 602-444-8369. Follow her on Twitter @stephanieinnes.

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