BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- During two days last July, more than 3,000 people who had no health insurance were able to meet with health care professionals and receive free care in a remote community in southwest Virginia, where access to health care is a challenge for many residents. Today, the Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic, an initiative of the University of Virginia, continues to provide free primary and specialty care, such as mammography and colon cancer screening and referrals, through telemedicine links -- thanks to support from the Verizon Foundation and others.
Working with the University of Virginia to support the clinic is one example of how the foundation helped improve the quality of life for people last year.
In 2011, the foundation awarded more than $66 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. focused on advancing health care, domestic violence prevention, education and sustainability.
"The Verizon Foundation is focused on seeking ways to further leverage the power of technology to address the most critical societal issues," said Rose Stuckey Kirk, the foundation's president. "We're proud to play a role in helping people in the communities we work and live to meet the promise of a better tomorrow."
Here is a look at some of the programs funded by the Verizon Foundation grants last year:
To inspire teachers across the country, the Verizon Foundation's Thinkfinity Education Speaker Series brought renowned leaders in education, science and business to an online community of teachers (the Thinkfinity.org community).
The video interviews featured individuals such as retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, entrepreneur and former NBA all-star Earwin "Magic" Johnson, educator Dr. Ben Carson, and digital communications expert Jason Falls. All of the leaders provided insights into topics like the role of civics in education, digital classrooms and social media use in today's education system. These video interviews are accessible online anytime and anywhere there is a broadband connection, at http://community.thinkfinity.org/community/speakerseries.
Verizon has long been working to reduce its energy consumption and carbon footprint throughout its networks and buildings, including its Premium Data Centers, which serve the company's most important customers. To help find solutions to further reduce energy consumption and protect the environment, the foundation also provides funds for research and works closely with universities.
At Cornell University, for example, the foundation is supporting a project that focuses on achieving immediate energy efficiency results by targeting short-term problem areas, and pursuing overall energy-efficiency gains throughout an entire facility by developing best practices and models for HVAC, lighting, and other energy-relevant devices and infrastructure. Cornell expects these projects will have a broader impact on how the next generation resolves the complex trade-offs involved in energy consumption, sustainability and performance.
Domestic Violence Education and Prevention
The foundation -- in partnership with the NFL Players Association and A Call To Men -- developed Training Camps for Life, a program that seeks to educate students about teen relationship violence and how to maintain healthy relationships.
More than 3,000 students participated in the program and took the LIVERESPECT pledge (http://liverespect.org/). This program also demonstrated how men can serve as role models in helping end domestic violence among teens and tweens.
While the Verizon Foundation is focused on funding and developing programs on education, domestic violence prevention and using technology to deliver or enhance health care, Verizon's employees have been and continue to be active in volunteerism. In 2011, Verizon employees volunteered more than 670,000 hours to support nonprofit organizations. The foundation supported these efforts by awarding a $750 grant to each nonprofit organization where a Verizon employee volunteers 50 hours or more to the organization during the year. These grants totaled $5 million for 2011.
Additionally, the foundation matched donations made by Verizon employees and eligible retirees, up to $6,000 per employee, Last year, the foundation provided $8 million in matching funds.
"We are doing our part to fill some of life's gaps," said Kirk. "We are deploying our philanthropic dollars and the assets of Verizon to drive meaningful societal change to help communities and individuals. I commend our employees who will continue their volunteerism to support and meet the needs of their community. We also look forward to continuing our support of vital programs in 2012 and to further enhance them by using the innovative power of Verizon's technology and network."
The Verizon Foundation helps people to live healthy, safe and independent lives by addressing disparities in education, health care and sustainability. Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon's employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.2 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities. For more information, visit www.verizonfoundation.org.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 109 million total connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500. A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of nearly 194,000. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.
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