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Conrad Prebys Foundation Grants $350K to UC San Diego to Fight COVID-19

UC San Diego launched its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund on March 17 to allow the university to address the greatest needs in the evolving pandemic

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The Conrad Prebys Foundation awarded Monday a $350,000 challenge grant to support UC San Diego in its COVID-19 efforts, including research and health care response.

The purpose of the San Diego-based foundation's match opportunity is to raise funds specifically for frontline health care in the region, according to UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla.

"Our region, our nation and the world is in the midst of a continually evolving public health crisis," Khosla said. "As the region's only academic medical center, UC San Diego has deep experience in researching and treating significant public health threats through the efforts of some of the world's most respected physicians and scientists. The Conrad Prebys Foundation has stepped up to help with our efforts in the battle against COVID-19."

It is the third such grant from the foundation in recent weeks: a $1 million grant for Scripps Health was announced on March 31 and a $350,000 grant for Rady Children's Hospital was made on April 10.

UC San Diego launched its COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund on March 17 to allow the university to address the greatest needs in the evolving pandemic and move forward with research and healthcare efforts to better understand and respond to it.

The challenge grant will double the fundraising impact -- for every dollar given to the fund, a dollar will be matched by the grant, up to $350,000.

"Since we first became aware of COVID-19, UC San Diego Health made immediate efforts to secure the necessary medical and surgical supplies to protect and prepare our frontline health care workers,'' said Patty Maysent, CEO of UC San Diego Health. "This generous matching gift further strengthens our position to safely care for the community during the anticipated surge. We are deeply grateful for this support during this worldwide health crisis."

The foundation's namesake gave his first gifts -- totaling $9 million - to UCSD in 2007 to establish the Conrad Prebys Music Center and the Conrad Prebys Music Endowment. The Conrad Prebys Concert Hall, situated within the music center, was named in the late philanthropist's honor.

"Conrad Prebys was a dear friend and a steadfast supporter of UC San Diego for many years,'' Khosla said. "His philanthropic gifts benefited many areas on campus that improved education for our students and the quality of life for our greater community."

UCSD Health was the first health system to care for COVID-positive patients in the greater San Diego region and is conducting clinical trials to help identify a future treatment for the disease.

UCSD Health has expanded COVID-19 testing capacity from 10 tests per day to more than 700 currently and 1,000-plus soon -- including processing tests for other local hospitals and testing all symptomatic first-responders in San Diego.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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