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.””