Distributed June 1, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Scott Turner

Brown School of Medicine begins $70-million campaign

The Brown University School of Medicine’s $70-million campaign, entitled “Building the Bridge,” is designed to build upon the uniqueness of one of the nation’s youngest medical schools.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Brown University School of Medicine has launched a $70-million fund-raising campaign that will run through June 30, 2002.

Entitled “Building the Bridge,” the campaign will build upon the School of Medicine’s distinctive qualities, said Ann Paton, executive dean for advancement. Strengthening the school’s funding base helps insure that it will continue to make valuable contributions to advancements in medical education, research and patient care, she said.

Most Brown medical students are products of an unusual eight-year curriculum, called the Program in Liberal Medical Education (PLME), considered among the most selective university programs in the nation. The PLME integrates wide-ranging undergraduate studies with biomedical courses.

In an arrangement that is rare in higher education, biology faculty and those in the School of Medicine are combined under one division, sharing basic science training and undergraduate biology instruction.

In 1996, the medical school unveiled a major curriculum reform called MD2000. This competency-based curriculum emphasizes mastery of nine crucial abilities that focus on the things a good doctor must be able to do. Effective communication tops the list.

One of the nation’s youngest medical schools, Brown is one of the few that does not own or operate its own teaching hospital. Medical education is a joint endeavor between the school and seven affiliated hospitals.

“An integrated faculty and close relationships with affiliated hospitals helps the School of Medicine train a new generation of humanistic physicians and medical scientists, and positions the school to conduct ‘translational research,’ performed at the intersections where basic science discoveries generated in laboratories are efficiently and responsibly transferred to innovations in patient care,” Paton said.

However, the challenges of practicing academic medicine in the current health care environment are greater than ever, with increased pressure on physicians to maintain revenues by seeing more patients. That leaves less time and opportunity for teaching and research, she said.

“The Campaign will allow the School to expand its innovative model for education and for groundbreaking interdisciplinary research,” Paton said. “The biomedical and life sciences are the world’s fastest growing fields of scientific inquiry. A leadership investment in the School of Medicine will position the University to sustain the expansion of its programs.”

According to Paton, the campaign’s goals are to raise:

  • $25 million to strengthen and ensure the vitality of clinical research and teaching, support the School’s research centers, and add faculty in genetics and biomedical informatics;

  • $18 million in endowed scholarships to ensure that students can attend the school regardless of financial need;

  • $18 million toward construction of a new $75-million Life Sciences facility, which will increase Brown’s overall space for biomedical research by 50 percent;

  • $5 million for research and operating support to supplement federal funding;

  • $3 million for expansion of the library’s medical collection;

  • $1 million for the School of Medicine Annual Fund, a new effort to raise unrestricted funds.

The campaign was announced at a gala celebration of the School’s 25th anniversary, May 27. The gala honored alumni, faculty, students, parents and friends. The festivities marked the opening of the campaign’s public phase.

During the gala, Artemis A. W. Joukowsky, chancellor emeritus and campaign chair, announced that the campaign had already raised more than $34 million – almost half its goal.

“The campaign made public tonight has been undertaken to span challenges to quality medical education, to superior clinical training, to research on the leading edge of discovery,” said Joukowsky, who thanked more than a dozen donors, foundations and firms for their support.

“We pledge ourselves to protecting and preserving all that has been developed and refined in the first 25 years of our medical program” Joukowsky continued. “And we commit ourselves to making possible the School of Medicine’s dreams for the 21st century – superior research facilities, world-class teaching and research, need-blind admissions, and the widest possible range of options and opportunities for our students.”