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Steads Commit $10 Million to Further Children's Medicine at Iowa

A second $10 million gift commitment from Jerre and Mary Joy Stead of Scottsdale, Ariz., will advance children's medicine at the University of Iowa by creating four new faculty chairs and establishing funds to support innovation and leadership development.

The multifaceted gift from the Steads, natives of Maquoketa, Iowa, includes $8 million to endow one faculty chair within each of the UI Department of Pediatrics areas of pulmonology, nephrology, neurology, and general pediatrics. The leadership development and innovation funds from the gift will be used by UI Department of Pediatrics staff, faculty, and researchers to improve education and patient treatments, and to increase understanding and awareness of pediatric diseases.

The Steads are co-chairs of Iowa First: Our Campaign for Breakthrough Medicine—UI Health Care’s $500 million campaign for private support that launched in 2011 and will celebrate its conclusion in spring of 2014.

The $10 million gift commitment from the Steads brings the campaign total to $505 million to date, pushing Iowa First past its fundraising goal. The Steads’ previous support of Iowa First includes a gift commitment of $10 million in 2011—also to the UI Children’s Hospital and the UI Department of Pediatrics—to create endowed faculty positions, support research and staff excellence initiatives, and fund innovative support services for patients and their families.

In recognition of the Steads’ total philanthropy to UI Children’s Hospital and the UI Department of Pediatrics of $20 million, the pediatrics department will be named the University of Iowa Stead Family Department of Pediatrics.

"Mary Joy and Jerre’s support through the years has benefited every aspect of the care our UI Children's Hospital staff has provided, and has bolstered the research and teaching being done within our Department of Pediatrics," says Jean Robillard, UI vice president for medical affairs. "This newest commitment to UI Health Care will allow our children’s medicine program to continue to provide the level of excellence that Iowans, and those beyond our borders, have come to expect."

Raphael Hirsch, UI Department of Pediatrics physician-in-chief, says the Steads’ gift will help the department sustain a tradition of first-rate pediatric care at Iowa.

"Our Iowa tradition is one of providing the very best in pediatric patient care, research, and education," says Hirsch. "This gift from the Steads will be instrumental in allowing our department to help continue that tradition, touching the lives of countless patients, students, and faculty."

Iowa First is part of For Iowa. Forever More: The Campaign for the University of Iowa—the UI’s $1.7 billion comprehensive campaign that launched in the spring of 2012. Among the priorities of the campaign, which runs through 2016, is ensuring a healthier and more sustainable world through discoveries in medicine and allied health fields.

“Support from visionary contributors like the Steads throughout our campaign is vital in helping us continue our Iowa tradition of extraordinary health care,” says UI President Sally Mason. “We believe the answers to some of the world’s most pressing health care questions are waiting to be discovered, and that, with the help of philanthropy, they can be discovered here at Iowa.”

“Our vision for the future of UI Health Care, and the entire university, becomes a reality through transformational philanthropy of UI alumni and friends like the Steads,” says UI Foundation President and CEO Lynette Marshall. “We are so grateful for Mary Joy and Jerre’s loyal support throughout the years, and we are delighted to watch their latest gift spur new advancements in children’s medicine at Iowa.”

The Steads’ gift is an extension of a long-held belief in the power of UI Health Care, says Mary Joy Stead.

"Having spent so much of our lives in Iowa, we’ve always understood the quality of UI Health Care, and we were fortunate to see that firsthand when our sons were born in UI Hospitals and Clinics," says Mary Joy Stead, who attended the UI and has served on the UI Foundation's board of directors since 1999. "Jerre and I have always felt privileged to be in a position to commit our support to help advance health care and research at UI Children's Hospital and the pediatrics department. We believe in the power of children’s medicine at Iowa, and this new commitment is an extension of that belief."

Jerre Stead, who received his bachelor's degree in business from the UI in 1965, has had a long career leading high-tech and information companies. He currently serves as executive chairman of IHS Inc., the leading provider of critical information, insight, and analytics worldwide.

"We believe the people of UI Health Care—outstanding doctors, nurses, staff, and researchers—are what set Iowa apart in children’s medicine,” says Jerre Stead. “The teaching, research, and patient care in the UI Department of Pediatrics are such valuable resources for so many. Mary Joy and I have always been dedicated to helping to provide them with the resources they need to continue to so positively impact people throughout Iowa and beyond.”

As part of her service on the UI Foundation board, Mary Joy Stead also is active on its development committee. Jerre Stead has served on the boards of many corporations and nonprofit organizations, including on the UI Henry B. Tippie College of Business Board of Visitors. He currently chairs the Alzheimer's Research Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Garrett-Evangelical Seminary at Northwestern University, and serves on the Salk Institute Board of Directors. He also was recently appointed by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper to oversee the state’s flood recovery efforts.

The Steads’ gifts to Iowa First follow their $25 million gift commitment to the Tippie College of Business in 2003 to support a variety of programs and initiatives, including the Stead Technology Services Group, one of the largest computer labs and technology-service groups on the UI campus.

The UI Foundation’s mission is to advance the UI and fulfill the aspirations of those it serves. The university’s dedicated contributors fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships, breakthrough research and life-changing health care to innovative facilities, community outreach and global education.

The UI Foundation is the preferred channel for private contributions that benefit all areas of the University of Iowa. For more information about the foundation and the campaign, visit the foundation website.


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