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$2.1 million gift from Huffman Foundation to improve health outcomes

Gift to UC and UC Health supports Brain Tumor Center and global disparities for women and youth

A gift of $2.1 million from the Anna and Harold Huffman Foundation will support the health programs of Village Life Outreach Project as well as fund advanced surgical technology at the University of Cincinnati Brain Tumor Center. 

This is the second significant gift from the Huffman Foundation in recent years, which was created by Anna and Harold W. Huffman, residents and philanthropists from Fairfield, Ohio. Harold Huffman was a longtime executive with Hamilton Tool Co. and held 33 patents.

In 2015, a $3 million gift from the Huffman Foundation created an endowed chair and dedicated research program at the Brain Tumor Center at the UC Gardner Neuroscience Institute. The Rev. Dr. Nancy Turner Jones, a niece of the Huffmans, serves as a trustee for the Huffman Foundation; her husband Rev. Dr. Larry Paul "LP" Jones lost his battle with brain cancer in 2016.

 “This generous gift from the Huffmans – along with their previous support – really exude the spirit of our Next Lives Here vision, investing in research efforts and new technology for brain tumor patients, and understanding that we are global partners,” said UC President Neville G. Pinto.

“We are so grateful for this gift, supporting the work of our clinicians both here at UC Medical Center, and across the globe, to advance healing and reduce suffering by applying their expertise where it’s needed most,” said Richard Lofgren, MD, president and CEO of UC Health.

Advancing Surgical Technology for Brain Tumors

The Huffmans’ most recent gift of $1 million to the UC Brain Tumor Center creates the Anna & Harold Huffman New Hope Brain Tumor Research Fund. It will focus on implementing surgical technologies and techniques at UC Health to improve care and outcomes for brain tumor patients, as well as provide laboratory investigators with imaging and diagnostic tools to work more accurately to study improved efficiencies in surgical environments.

“Exploring new and existing technologies in the field allows us to continually improve care and the patient experience,” said Joseph Cheng, MD, professor and Frank H. Mayfield Chair of Neurological Surgery. “It is also important as we train the next generation of clinician-scientists, and teach them to adapt to changing technologies that improve the patients’ journey.”

Improving Health Outcomes in Tanzania

A second gift of $1 million has created The Anna and Harold Huffman Maternal and Child Health Endowment Fund, to invest in the improvement of maternal and child health care in rural Tanzanian medical and community health care initiatives at Roche Health Center in the Rorya District of Tanzania, East Africa, a clinic operated by Village Life Outreach Project.

Founded by Christopher Lewis, MD, vice provost for academic programs at UC and a family medicine physician at UC Health, Village Life Outreach Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization based in Cincinnati that works with villages in Tanzania to promote life, health and education. Part of its work has been to establish the Roche Health Center, which opened in 2011, providing more than 20,000 village residents with their first stable/reliable access to health care, including full labor and delivery services.

The gift supports operational funding for pre- and post-natal care; community training; and field training for students, faculty, and staff from the Village Life Outreach Project who have demonstrated a commitment to addressing global health disparities.

Perinatal mortality is very high because of the lack of maternal-fetal health care in these villages, and that’s why this gift is so important,” said Lewis. “It allows us to create space dedicated or focused care to improve health outcomes in the villages while also providing valuable field service opportunities for all UC students.”

Jones, along with Huffman trustee Ken Kinder of Strauss and Troy, noted that Harold was passionate about making an impact in global health, specifically women’s health, and have been impressed by the work of Village Life.

Additionally, a $100,000 gift creates the Anna and Harold W. Huffman South African Adolescent Health Research Fund. Supporting the work of Jennifer Brown, PhD, an associate professor in the UC College of Medicine, it will invest in training, education and research focused on improving the reproductive health of adolescents in South Africa. Brown’s initial work exploring family planning needs in South Africa’s Free State was funded by the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations grant.

This gift is part of Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati. This comprehensive campaign for UC and UC Health will focus on raising money for scholarships and graduate student fellowships; research; the health and well-being of our region; and the signature programs and initiatives that are unique to UC and UC Health.

Featured image at top, from left to right: Joseph Cheng, MD, professor and Frank H. Mayfield Chair of Neurological Surgery, and Jennifer Brown, PhD, associate professor in the College of Medicine; Ken Kinder and Rev. Dr. Nancy Turner Jones, trustees for the Anna and Harold Huffman Foundation; Christopher Lewis, MD, vice provost for academic programs at UC; and Peter Landgren, president of the UC Foundation. Photo/ Jaclyn Poeschl

NEXT, NOW

With its focus on innovation and impact, Next, Now: The Campaign for Cincinnati is where ambition meets action. At the University of Cincinnati and UC Health, we’re driven by next; thinking bolder and dreaming bigger to create the tomorrow we envision, today. Learn more at nextnow.uc.edu