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WesternU to Honor Harris Family at Annual Fundraiser

by Rodney Tanaka

September 14, 2010

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Western University of Health Sciences will hold its annual gala fundraiser, A Tribute to Caring (ATC) on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.

ATC has raised more than $1.1 million for student scholarships since 2000.

The Harris Family Foundation will receive the Access to Caring Award, recognizing its support of WesternU’s Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy.

The foundation carries on the legacy of the Harris family. Eleanore Harris became a quadriplegic in a car accident in 1934. Her siblings – Thelma, Alvin and Harold – vowed to stick together until Eleanore walked again.

Eleanore never walked again, but her family kept their promise to stay together, and developed and operated several successful businesses. Harold, the last of the four siblings to die in 2001, wanted the family’s money used to support research and public policies aimed at increasing the independence and self-reliance of people like Eleanore.

The foundation’s donation to WesternU’s former Center for Disability Issues and the Health Professions in 2009 resulted in a name change to the Harris Family Center for Disability and Health Policy (CDHP).

CDHP’s goals include: improving the capabilities of health care providers to meet the growing needs of people with disabilities, increasing the number of qualified individuals with disabilities who pursue careers in the health professions, and empowering people with disabilities to become more vocal and active participants in their health care.

ATC will place special emphasis on the things that make WesternU students stand out, especially their ongoing commitment to serving their communities.

As always, proceeds from A Tribute to Caring will provide much-needed scholarship support for students in the University’s colleges of biomedical sciences, dental medicine, graduate nursing, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, allied health professions, podiatric medicine and veterinary medicine. WesternU’s students are tomorrow’s health care providers, combining medical and scientific expertise with a humanistic philosophy, and they will carry the University’s message across the globe.

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