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USC center on health economics receives a $25-million gift

Leonard D. Schaeffer, a former executive of the giant healthcare insurance firm WellPoint, is giving $25 million to the USC program he helped establish in 2009 to study health policy and economics, campus officials are announcing Tuesday.

Schaeffer’s new donation to the center already named after him is expected to bolster research at USC on such issues as controlling healthcare costs, the future of Medicare and improving patient outcomes.

Three years ago, Schaeffer and his wife, Pamela, gave $1.2 million to found the center, which is a joint project of USC’s public policy and pharmacy schools. It also has attracted more than $45 million in external research funding from the federal agencies and other sources, officials said.

USC President C. L. Max Nikias said the donation would aid “collaborative scholarship to address the most complex questions facing health care today.”

 --Larry Gordon

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