The Harold W. Harris Foundation Trust presented a gift of $1.2 million to
Western University of Health Sciences. The gift was announced at the
university’s 25th Annual A Tribute to Caring gala held in Beverly Hills
on Saturday, November 12. This is the first part of an intended $3
million gift that will support the work of the University’s Center for
Disability Issues and the Health Professions (CDIHP).
This initial gift will be used to acquire a property to house the
new home of the CDIHP and it will be named the Harris Family Center for
Disability and Health, a new facility on the Pomona campus.
Seymour Borenstein, a trustee for the Trust, said, “”This
university has done so much in 29 years. We know that Harold (Harris)
would be proud of this gift.””
The Harris family consisted of four siblings, two brothers and
two sisters. In 1935 in Toledo, Ohio, one of the sisters was disabled
early in her life from spinal injuries in an auto accident. The siblings
dedicated their lives taking care of their quadriplegic sister at a time
when institutional services were rudimentary at best.
The family moved to Southern California in search of treatment
for their sister and subsequently founded their own businesses here. In
light of the Harris family experience, the trustees of the foundation
have provided this gift to WesternU to expand the work being done by the
CDIHP through the development of programs designed to educate both health
care professionals and individuals with disabilities.
Brenda Premo, director of the CDIHP said, “”This is a remarkable
gift from a family with a remarkable story of caring and support in an
era when disability was synonymous with inability.””