May 1, 2003 For Immediate Release
The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) announced today that Duke Energy will invest $500,000 in its Northern Medical Program - the first major corporate contribution to the development of the Northern Medical Program. Duke Director of Pipeline Operations Stan Watchhorn is pictured here with UNBC President Charles Jago.
Developed by UNBC and The University of British Columbia, the Northern Medical Program will train physicians in northern BC for practice in northern and rural areas. The Program will accept its first students in 2004.
"We developed the Northern Medical Program to respond to the critical need faced by northern communities to access health professionals," says UNBC President Charles Jago. "That goal is shared by the industries in northern BC who rely on healthy and prosperous communities from which they draw so many of their employees. Duke Energy shares our vision of what the Northern Medical Program can contribute to the North."
Duke Energy Gas Transmission's (DEGT) investment will support the development of Physicians Link, the health training and electronic communications backbone of the Northern Medical Program. Physicians Link will create a system of online communication and collaboration between medical students and health professionals across the region.
"Investing in attracting and retaining healthcare professionals in northern BC is good for the region and our company, as we work together to build strong northern communities." says Al Ritchie, vice president, field operations for DEGT's BC Pipeline and Field Services divisions. "It also reflects our ongoing commitment to our communities in which we live and work, and to the safety of our employees. As an employer in the region, it is vital that we have access to healthcare professionals and services in order for us to attract and retain good people."
UNBC was established to be a university particularly focused on the social, environmental, and economic issues of the North. Since starting course offerings in 1992, the University has expanded its degree programs and the student body now numbers about 3,600.
Duke Energy is a diversified multinational energy company with an integrated network of energy assets and expertise. The company manages a dynamic portfolio of natural gas and electric supply, delivery and trading businesses - meeting the energy needs of customers throughout North America and in key markets around the world. Duke Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. Duke Energy Gas Transmission is a business unit of Duke Energy. More information about the company is available on the Internet at www.duke-energy.com.