Haslam Philanthropic Gift to UT Medical Center
Natalie & Jim Haslam Contribute $5 Million Philanthropic Gift to The University of Tennessee Medical Center
“Transformational gift” to help address community health equity
KNOXVILLE, TENN. (April 21, 2021) – Officials with The University of Tennessee Medical Center announced today a $5 million philanthropic investment for the medical center from Natalie and Jim Haslam. Through the Natalie and Jim Haslam Fund at The East Tennessee Foundation, the gift will provide support for existing, developing and innovative initiatives at the medical center aimed at promoting community health equity by addressing health disparities and improving access to care.
The University of Tennessee Medical Center will use the “generous gift” to support expanding access to health services through new and existing community partnerships, increased health education and screening and creating opportunities for underrepresented populations to explore health careers, explains Kathy Boyd, the medical center’s Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer.
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. Health equity may be realized when all individuals have a fair opportunity to achieve his or her full health potential.
“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.”
As The University of Tennessee Medical Center is helping to lead a comprehensive effort to reduce health disparities and promote health equity and wellness in the Knoxville area, it previously launched two major population health initiatives as part of
this strategy under the leadership of Dr. Keith Gray, the medical center’s Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. The first was the Lonsdale Health Center, which 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, with some laboratory and diagnostic services costing a nominal fee, and screens patients for health barriers and connects them with relevant community agencies, as necessary.
“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.”