Heritage Provider Network offers Scholarships to Universities and City of Hope Image

Heritage Provider Network offers Scholarships to Universities and City of Hope

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Heritage Provider Network offers Scholarship Research Funds to Universities and City of Hope. 

High Desert Medical Group & Heritage Health Care, at the forefront of growth initiatives, salute Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, HDMG & HHC, for his contributions to research. Dr. Merkin and the Merkin Family Foundation announce multiple scholarship commitments to: the USC Keck School of Medicine, Cal State University, and City of Hope.

Marina del Rey, California-March 7, 2016–Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, has pledged additional funds to the already established Merkin Honors Scholars Program at Cal State University, Los Angeles, to provide scholarships covering the cost of tuition and fees for two additional freshman each year between 2015 and 2018. The scholarships will provide the freshman full four year opportunities to complete their undergraduate studies.

“Encouraging and supporting young people to reach their peak educational potential is one of my top priorities,” said Dr. Richard Merkin. “Nothing is more important than providing talented young students the educational tools to equip them to solve the critically important global problems we find before us. It is my honor and privilege to contribute these additional scholarships to these deserving young people at Cal State LA as they study ways to change our world.”

The Merkin Honors Scholars program will provide full four year scholarship funding for two new freshmen each year for 2016, 2017 and 2018, when the program will support eight honors students.

“With these additional scholarships Dr. Merkin further demonstrates his commitment to the education of tomorrow’s leaders,” said Cal State LA President William A. Covino. “Our students and our University will make the most of this wonderful opportunity. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Merkin.”

The Merkin Honors Scholars Program was created in 2010 to help recruit and support talented students for the Honors College. The Honors College builds on several distinguishing features of Cal State LA: it boasts an international reputation of preparing underrepresented students for research careers in STEM research careers; it is home to the only Early Entrance Program in the nation that fully matriculates a cohort of highly gifted students as young as 11 years of age; and it is highly ranked for its record of contributing to the public good in three areas: social mobility, research, and service. The mission of the Honors College is to graduate students whose ability to think, research and communicate critically and creatively across disciplines will make them multi-cultural leaders in their fields.

Marina del Rey, Calif., March 8, 2016 — Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network, is pleased to announce a commitment to City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in Duarte, California to establish two endowed professorships in the fields of gene therapy and immunology. The endowed professorships will be known as the “Heritage Provider Network Professor of Immunology” and the “Heritage Provider Network Professor of Gene Therapy.”

“I’m delighted to establish the endowed professorships in gene therapy and immunology at City of Hope,” said Dr. Richard Merkin. “It is critically important we encourage vital scientific research to fast track and develop new therapies to treat cancer, diabetes and other serious diseases,” he continued.

“City of Hope is extremely grateful for Dr. Merkin’s gift establishing two endowed professorships at City of Hope,” said Robert W. Stone, president and chief executive officer of City of Hope. “This generous gift will enable City of Hope to advance promising clinical research programs in immunology and gene therapy.”

The professorship in gene therapy will be under the direction of Stephen Forman, M.D., F.A.C.P., director of the Hematologic Malignancies and Stem Cell Transplantation Institute at City of Hope, in consultation with Steven T. Rosen, M.D., provost and chief scientific officer for City of Hope, director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and director of the Beckman Research Institute. The professorship in immunology will be under the direction of Yuman Fong, M.D., chair and professor of the Department of Surgery and professor of Experimental Therapeutics, in consultation with Rosen.

Forman is known worldwide for his pioneering breakthroughs in blood and bone marrow transplants, he’s not just witnessed, but guided, the evolution of hematologic cancer treatment. Today, he’s on the forefront of a specific kind of immunotherapy, known as T cell therapy. This type of therapy doesn’t boost the immune system, it transforms it. City of Hope is launching a wave of clinical trials of this type of therapy for leukemia, lymphoma, brain tumors and even ovarian cancer.

Fong is an internationally recognized expert in liver and pancreatic cancer and in the use of genetically modified viruses to combat malignant disease. He has been a pioneer both in the operating room and in the laboratory, crafting new surgical techniques and instruments and creating entirely new treatment methods. Especially notable is his track record of launching human clinical trials of genetically modified viruses with the potential to fight cancer.