Transforming Chronic Disease Through Collaboration

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The Patterson Foundation, USF to create new realities in chronic disease through $5.6 million partnership

Debra Jacobs, President and CEO of The Patterson Foundation, announced the foundation's vision and focus at a media conference in January.

While we are not focused on prevention or research to find a cure, we chose USF as our partner because they share our vision to create New Realities of how people manage living with a chronic disease instead of the disease managing their lives.

The Patterson Foundation, based in Sarasota, Fla., has formed a collaborative partnership with the University of South Florida to create New Realities of how populations manage chronic disease – from patient and physician education tools to societal perception of chronic disease.

The partnership includes a $5.6 million gift from The Patterson Foundation to launch Bringing Science Home, an initiative created in collaboration with USF that will develop new ways of educating, training and caring for people with chronic disease. The project will first explore how to help people with diabetes optimize their daily living and transition through important life stages, such as the change from high school to college, and looks to expand to other chronic diseases like asthma and arthritis.

“The Patterson Foundation has the opportunity, flexibility and responsibility to do what others can’t and won’t,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “While we are not focused on prevention or research to find a cure, we chose USF as our partner because they share our vision to create New Realities of how people manage living with a chronic disease instead of the disease managing their lives.”

The initiative is one of nine honoring the Patterson family heritage. The foundation’s benefactor, Dorothy Patterson, lived with debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, while her husband, Jim, had diabetes. Through this partnership, the foundation intends to create what it calls ‘connective tissue’, or best practices, models and methods created through collaborative efforts that will transform chronic disease management.

“I am delighted that The Patterson Foundation has chosen to partner with us to help people with chronic illness during critical stages in their lives,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine and CEO of USF Health. “The essence of Bringing Science Home is to show the way to a complete rethinking of chronic care.”

Nicole Johnson, executive director of Bringing Science Home, will lead the initiative. As Miss America 1999, Johnson has been a long-time national advocate for diabetes education and has been working as a director with USF Health Diabetes Education Center. Johnson was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes more than a decade ago.

“This initiative is all about getting to the heart and soul of people with diabetes and other chronic diseases,” Johnson said. “The Patterson Foundation is integral in helping us make our vision a reality.”

About The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation, based in Sarasota, Fla., seeks to motivate others to think and act beyond today’s reality and strives to generate philanthropic impact by finding innovative ways to join together with individuals and entities. The Foundation’s ultimate work can be divided into two parts. The first is to transform communities by taking novel approaches to the challenges they face. The second is to provide relief to individuals during times of crisis. For more information, please visit http://www.ThePattersonFoundation.org.

About USF Health

USF Health (http://www.health.usf.edu) is dedicated to creating a model of health care based on understanding the full spectrum of health. It includes the University of South Florida’s colleges of medicine, nursing, and public health; the schools of biomedical sciences as well as physical therapy & rehabilitation sciences; and the USF Physicians Group. With more than $380.4 million in research grants and contracts last year, the University of South Florida is one of the nation’s top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community-engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

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