KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – The University of Tennessee Medical Center has announced a $5 million donation from Jim and Natalie Haslam.
A university release said the gift will help support their initiatives to expand health equity and wellness in the Knoxville area, increase health education and create opportunities for underrepresented populations to explore health careers.
“Natalie and I are aware that serious disparities exist in our community that cause many people to not have access to quality health care,” said Jim Haslam, Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Pilot Company. “We hope this gift will help The University of Tennessee Medical Center develop and implement creative programs to alleviate this pressing problem and ensure that everyone can get the health resources they need to live their best lives.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations.
The university previously launched two major initiatives to reduce health disparities and promote health equity in the Knoxville area. The Lonsdale Health Center opened in December 2019 through a partnership with The University of Tennessee Medical Center, Cherokee Health Systems and the Emerald Youth Foundation. In December 2019, the medical center also reopened the Free Medical Clinic of America, which offers free healthcare services to uninsured patients.
“The University of Tennessee Medical Center continues to be extremely grateful for Natalie and Jim Haslam for their commitment to excellence in healthcare and support of our community by investing in our work to address health equity,” said Joseph R. Landsman, the medical center’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Their love of community and humankind is clear in this transformational gift.”