Wal-Mart Foundation Announces $1 Million Grant to the Meharry Medical College Center for Women's Health Research

Grant Will Further Research Addressing Health Disparities


NASHVILLE, Tenn. – November 13, 2007 – The Wal-Mart Foundation announced today a $1 million grant to the Meharry Medical College Center for Women’s Health Research, the nation’s only center dedicated to the study of health disparities among women of color. Over the next five years, the grant will help advance the Center’s work in addressing diseases that disproportionately impact women from ethnic minorities – particularly African American women.

“The Meharry Medical College Center for Women’s Health Research is leading the way in understanding the health disparities faced by women of color and how those disparities can be eradicated,” said Linda Dillman, executive vice president, Risk Management, Benefits and Sustainability at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., at an event today announcing the grant. “Our Foundation is proud to support their work and community outreach with this grant.”

Dillman presented the $1 million check today to Wayne J. Riley, M.D., M.P.H., MBA, FACP, president and chief executive officer, Meharry Medical College, and Valerie Montgomery Rice, M.D., senior vice president for Health Affairs, dean, School of Medicine, and executive director, Center for Women’s Health Research, Meharry Medical College.

“We are especially pleased to have the philanthropic support of the Wal-Mart Foundation as it assists us in realizing our vision of eliminating healthcare disparities through education, research and patient care,” said Dr. Riley.

“Innovative research and clinical studies at the Center are giving us greater insight as to why women of color are more likely to develop certain diseases and how biology, race, and economics contribute to disparities in women’s health care,” said Dr. Montgomery Rice. “This grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation will allow us to expand that critical research and broaden our educational awareness programs and community participatory research efforts.”  Dr. Montgomery Rice is also an active member on Wal-Mart’s Health Insights Panel and Wal-Mart’s External Advisory Council.

Current and upcoming research and studies at the Center focus on reproductive health, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, breast cancer and social and environmental factors in women’s health, including health care access and quality.

As the nation’s largest private, independent historically black academic health center, Meharry Medical College educates and trains more than 25 percent of all African American dentists and physicians, and is the number one producer of African American biomedical scientists. More than 76 percent of Meharry Medical College alumni serve underserved communities across the nation.

Tennessee state Senator Thelma Harper (19th) and Sharon Reynolds, chairperson of the Community Advisory Board for the Meharry Center for Women’s Health Research, also spoke at the ceremony.

"The generosity of the Wal-Mart Foundation exemplifies their recognition of the need in furthering the research at the Women’s Center. This enormous contribution moves our efforts to another level. Our community is indeed grateful," said Senator Harper.

“As champions for the Center, our community board recognizes and appreciates the support from the Wal-Mart Foundation. This generous grant adds a shining star to the tireless efforts of Dr. Montgomery Rice and her team as the vision becomes a reality. The future generation of all women will be greatly impacted by the extraordinary research underway, coupled with this newly formed partnership with Wal-Mart,” said Sharon Reynolds.

In addition to the grant by the Foundation, initiatives by Wal-Mart Stores in the area of women’s health include its partnership with Speaking of Women’s Health, which provides support for educational materials and events on women’s health, and the recent expansion of its affordable prescription program to include important women’s health medications.

Last year, Wal-Mart gave more than $270 million to support its 4,000-plus U.S. based communities. In recent years, the company has been recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy as the largest corporate cash contributor in America.

About Meharry Medical College and the Center for Women’s Health Research
The Meharry Medical College Center for Women’s Health Research is the nation’s only research center devoted exclusively to scientific inquiry of diseases that disproportionately affect women of color. It was founded in September 2004.

Meharry Medical College is the nation’s largest private, independent historically black institution dedicated solely to educating minority and other health professionals. The College is particularly well known for its uniquely nurturing, highly effective educational programs; emerging preeminence in health disparities research; culturally sensitive, evidence-based health services; and significant contribution to the diversity of the nation’s health professions workforce. Diverse Issues in Higher Education’s ranking of institutions annually lists Meharry as a leading national educator of African Americans with M.D. and D.D.S. degrees, and Ph.D. degrees in the biomedical sciences.   To learn more about Meharry Medical College, visit www.mmc.edu.

About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Every week, millions of customers visit Wal-Mart Stores, Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Sam’s Club locations across America or log on to its online store at www.walmart.com. The company and its Foundation are committed to a philosophy of giving back locally. Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) is proud to support the causes that are important to customers and associates right in their own neighborhoods, and last year gave more than $270 million to local communities in the United States. To learn more, visit www.walmartfacts.com, www.walmartstores.com, or www.walmartfoundation.org.

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