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GlaxoSmithKline Funds $1.65 Million for UNC-Duke Public Health Partnership

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Duke Health News 919-660-1306

The North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation has awarded
$1.65 million to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
and Duke University for a collaborative partnership to address
four pressing local and global health care concerns. They
arequality of care and patient safety, health disparities,
global health with an emphasis on HIV/AIDS and mental health
care.

The collaboration pools the resources of Duke University
Medical Center, Duke's Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy
and UNC's Schools of Medicine and Public Health to design and
implement educational and research initiatives that promise
long-term public health improvements in each of the four areas.
The collaboration will be under the direction of principal
investigators Victor J. Dzau, MD, Duke's chancellor for health
affairs and president and CEO of the Duke University Health
System, and William L. Roper, MD, MPH, UNC's vice chancellor
for medical affairs, UNC Health Care's CEO and dean of the
School of Medicine.

"By funding this powerful collaboration, GlaxoSmithKline
enables Duke and UNC to pool our extensive strengths in
research design, evidence-based medicine, public health and
public policy, and community-based initiatives to design models
that can be disseminated locally and globally," said Dzau. "We
are very grateful for UNC's partnership, and we look forward to
the far-reaching and sustainable impact of this and future
collaborations between our two institutions," he said.

"This is yet another example of the enormous potential that
can be realized by UNC working in concert with our colleagues
in Durham," said Roper. "It recognizes that the outcome of this
partnership will be better health care for all. I want to
express my appreciation to the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline
Foundation for making it a reality, and I look forward to the
good work ahead of us," he said.

The three-year grant period begins January 1, 2006 and
includes a six-month planning period followed by 30 months of
implementation, evaluation and results dissemination for each
of the four health care areas of concern.

Plans for addressing the issue of the quality of care and
patient safety include developing an interdisciplinary training
curriculum for students in the health care professions at Duke
and UNC, simulated teamwork exercises and best practices aimed
at eliminating care-related disparities and improving quality
of care and patient safety. At the conclusion of the grant
period, the curriculum will be available for national
dissemination by CD-ROM or Internet.

A key component of the collaborative effort to address
health disparities is is community engagement to identify needs
and develop solutions. Both Duke and UNC currently have major
community-based initiatives at sites in the state. Building on
these initiatives with the aim of reaching underserved
African-Americans and the growing Latino population, the
collaborative efforts will focus on coordinating wellness
activities, developing new models for chronic disease
prevention and care management and training students and
community health care providers.

In the initiative on global health and HIV/AIDS, the
collaboration will build on well-established Duke and UNC
research and education programs in Tanzania and Malawi,
respectively, to develop models that can be applied to both the
African AIDS pandemic and to North Carolina, where rates of
infection continue to climb among underserved populations. The
project seeks to design culturally appropriate research
projects to understand and address cultural, economic, and
other barriers to effective HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment,
and to involve Duke and UNC faculty, fellows, and residents in
community-level education, care, and research.

The initiative inmental health and community-based training
focuses on a critical need for training and reform as North
Carolina transitions from a state-funded and administered
mental health care system to one that is privatized. Duke and
UNC will collaborate in addressing this issue with the North
Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disability,
and Substance Abuse Services. The universities will each
provide a senior psychiatry resident and faculty member to lead
development of extensive training curricula for new and
existing community mental health providers. Using emerging
evidence-based practices, the participants' goal is to equip a
workforce of mental health care professionals to care for
seriously ill patients in non-hospital community settings.

"We applaud the leadership and vision of these two major
health institutions," said Chris Viehbacher, president, US
Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline. "We are pleased to support
this kind of initiative and believe it can result in valuable
new ideas to improve health locally and globally."

Current and recent examples of Duke-UNC collaborations
include the Robertson Scholars Program; the Center for HIV/AIDS
Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI) consortium; the Southeast Regional
Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense
(SERCEB); the North Carolina Area Health Education Center
(AHEC) Program; as well as a health care provider training
program to improve breast and cervical cancer screening rates;
a program serving abused and neglected children; and a
curriculum program on physician fatigue and
impairment.

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