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Gift Supports Health Initiative Planning

Local Physician Donates $200,000 To UCR’s Health Sciences Initiative

Gift to be Used for Planning Purposes

(December 3, 2003)

Thomas and Salma Haider

Thomas and Salma Haider

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — — The University of California, Riverside today announced it has received a donation of $200,000 from Thomas T. Haider, MD and his wife Salma, which will assist the University in the planning phase for its recently announced Health Sciences Initiative.

“We are so appreciative of the support and encouragement this gift represents,” said UC Riverside Chancellor France A. Córdova. “Tom and Salma are great friends and longtime supporters of our institution. Having them step forward with this generous gift, as we begin the long and complex process of exploring how UCR can enhance interdisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences, as well as explore options for meeting the increasing demand for health services in the Inland Southern California region, gives our effort a tremendous boost.”

Haider, an orthopedic surgeon, is president of the Haider Spine Center and is a member of the clinical faculty at UC Riverside in the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences.

“UC Riverside is taking a bold step that may lead to a much needed medical school in our community,” said Haider. “Salma and I believe that if this effort is to be successful, it must be given strong community support at every step in the process.”

The Haider gift was presented to Chancellor Córdova at a December 2 meeting of the Chancellor’s Community Forum on Health Care Initiatives, which consists of a broad base of the region’s leading physicians, healthcare administrators, elected officials and community leaders. At the meeting, Riverside County Supervisor Bob Buster reconfirmed the County’s support for UC Riverside’s Health Sciences Initiative citing it as a priority for the County.

“I feel strongly about the need for a community based medical program for this region,” said Buster. “Physicians and other healthcare professionals who complete their training here, are more likely to remain here and will help us address the growing needs of our population, particularly those in the underserved sector.”

UC Riverside last month announced the formation of a seven-member Blue Ribbon Panel charged with assisting the campus in enhancing medical education and research through a major Health Sciences Initiative. The panel begins work in January and joins the Community Forum and a forum of more than 70 key senior UC Riverside faculty representing a cross section of disciplines from biomedical sciences and the social sciences to engineering and business management that have been established for the Health Sciences Initiative.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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