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September 3, 1999

Contact: Patricia Adams

University of Maryland School of Nursing creates "Gateway" to Strengthen Urban Communities

Baltimore, Md.-The University of Maryland School of Nursing announced today the creation of its new interdisciplinary Center for Community Partnerships for Children and Families. The Center, to be directed by Linda S. Thompson, DrPH, RN, former Special Secretary, Governor's Office for Children, Youth and Families, is designed as a "gateway" for communities to have access to the resources of a major university.

The mission of the Center is to integrate the strengths of the university and the surrounding community in order to improve quality of life, while enhancing the capacity of community leaders to manage and develop their local assets - physical, human and financial. "By utilizing our resources in a more efficient and targeted way", said Dr. Thompson. "We are building on the ability of the University to strengthen and support the communities surrounding it."

Funded in part by a grant from the State of Maryland, "the Center is an integral part of the community", said Barbara R. Heller, EdD, RN, FAAN, Dean of the University of Maryland School of Nursing. "It is a testimonial to the shared commitment among government and university partners to promote long-term community progress."

Working through these partnerships, Thompson and her staff will tackle community revitalization through an integrated network of services that includes research, analysis and strategic planning for the purpose of achieving and sustaining long-term community health. According to Dr. Thompson, the Center will link with existing university-community partnerships within the University of Maryland System. In addition, the Center will seek partnerships with all sectors of the community, including schools, government, business and industry, community organizations, agencies, faith leaders, media, citizens groups and families.

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