The John Gogian Family Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Western

University of Health Sciences’ (WesternU) Center for Disability Issues and

the Health Professions (CDIHP).

To honor the donation, WesternU has dedicated the office of CDIHP Founding

Director Brenda Premo after the Foundation.

The Torrance-based John Gogian Family Foundation was founded in 1982 by

businessman John Gogian and now sponsors a major scholarship program for

graduates of the Compton Unified School District. In addition, the

Foundation also has established the David Gogian Center for New Viral

Infections at the University of Southern California School of Medicine,

named for John Gogian’s brother. The Foundation’s main areas of support

include the physically and mentally disabled, the prevention of and

treatment for child abuse, and care of the elderly.

Foundation Director H. Raymond Savoian, whose son, Todd, is a second-year

medical student at WesternU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine of the

Pacific, said he learned of the Center’s work when he read an article in

the University’s quarterly magazine, WesternU View.

“”The Center’s mission is unique and its work will prove extremely valuable

for a huge number of people,”” said Savoian, who also is a member of

WesternU’s Parents’ Support Group.

WesternU established the CDIHP in response to the concerns of the disabled

community, which is emerging as one of the nation’s fastest growing and

least understood minority groups.

It is estimated that close to 20 percent of the U.S. population – almost

50 million people – lives with some form of permanent or long-term


The Center’s mission is to enhance health professions education and to

improve access for people with disabilities to health education and health

care services. Under the direction of nationally renowned disabled rights

activist Premo, the CDIHP will emphasize both immediate reforms in

educational curriculum as well as long-term research on policies and

related issues.

“”With this contribution, the Foundation will help ensure that health

professionals learn how best to provide care for people with disabilities

based on all of his or her potential and goals, not just the disability,””

Premo said.

Among the projects and goals the CDIHP will use the John Gogian Family

Foundation’s grant for is the creation of an interactive Internet site to

educate health professionals about prevention, health maintenance and

health care services for persons with disabilities.