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Heritage Provider Network and Dr. Richard Merkin Come to the Aid of Italian Earthquake Victims

MARINA DEL RAY, Calif., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Richard Merkin, President and CEO of Heritage Provider Network is pleased to welcome Italian students from the University of L'Aquila by assisting them with one year scholarships to continue their education while their school is being rebuilt after the devastating April 5th earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy.

Twenty-four Italian students who were displaced by the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy, including the student body president of the 27,000-student university, will be attending Sierra Nevada College in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, thanks in part to the generosity of Dr. Richard Merkin. Dr. Merkin has a deep compassion for education and is happy to assist in helping the displaced Italian students continue their education.

"Education is the major building block of the future of our world and I'm delighted to be able to assist these deserving students so they may continue their education and learn more about our country," said Dr. Merkin. "It is vitally important that we learn to work together in all aspects of our daily lives and I know their experience at Sierra Nevada College will be enriching for them, and the students, faculty and administrators they interact with, as well as the entire community."

Sierra Nevada College President Robert C. Maxson is most appreciative for Dr. Merkin's donation, saying, "This is another example of just how charitable and generous Dr. Merkin is. These kids have been through the most devastating earthquake and their higher education was totally disrupted. We reached out to the community for scholarship help, and Dr. Merkin was one of the first to step forward." Maxson continued, "Dr. Merkin is caring and nurturing, especially when it comes to young people, this truly comes from his heart."

Sponsorship for the students to continue their education in the US was a joint effort between the National Italian American Foundation and Sierra Nevada College. "Dr. Richard Merkin's generous donation has enabled the National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) to further meet the needs of these deserving students whose studies were disrupted due to the earthquake in L'Aquila, Italy. NIAF continues to succeed in its goal of raising the funds necessary to answer the needs of these students," said Joseph V. Del Raso, Esq., NIAF President.

Twenty-three-year-old Sebastino Savini, scholarship recipient, just arrived yesterday from Italy to finish his senior year at Sierra Nevada College and is thrilled with the opportunity. "It seems the scholarship program will be intense and it will be an interesting year," he said. It is Savini's first visit to the US. "I feel blessed to have the opportunity to attend Sierra Nevada College after the disaster we had. I am grateful for the scholarship and this experience, we've been welcomed so warmly, it's just beautiful."

In a meeting in Rome in July with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, President Barack Obama recognized the need to assist these students and applauded the program. "Obviously our hearts were broken by the death and destruction that took place after the earthquake. And I'm very pleased that the United States, like many other countries, will be contributing to help the rebuilding process," Obama said. "In fact, we have, along with the National Italian American Foundation, already identified projects to help rebuild facilities at the University of L'Aquila and to provide scholarships and summer programs."

About Heritage Provider Network

Heritage Provider Network, Inc. (HPN) represents the cutting edge of integrated, managed health care systems offering the future of medicine and health care in the United States. HPN develops programs and services that are responsive to the healthcare needs of today's patient. HPN designs its networks to offer patients a comprehensive range of medical care in convenient locations. It organizes and manages medical groups and independent practice associations, which it integrates with hospitals and ancillary care providers to form integrated health care systems. HPN consists of medical groups and IPAs with 21 satellite medical facilities in California and Healthcare Partners, an IPA, in New York. HPN is comprised of 3,500 primary care physicians, 13,000 specialists and 36 hospitals. HPN is dedicated to quality, affordable health care and putting patients' wellness first.

SOURCE Heritage Provider Network
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