The University of Central Florida’s Academic Health Sciences Center (AHSC) has received a gift of $300,000 from the Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation to fund innovative projects and programs to improve community health.

The donation is the first major programmatic gift to the AHSC since it was created in 2018 and will support the UCF Genius Innovation Challenge, a new initiative designed to promote synergy through interdisciplinary approaches and solutions.

Bringing together the College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of Health Professions and Sciences, and Student Health Services, the AHSC was conceptualized as a nexus of interdisciplinary education and training with the health-focused academic and clinical units within UCF in close physical proximity on the 50-acre Lake Nona campus. The campus is part of the Lake Nona Medical City developed by the Tavistock Group and includes UCF’s new teaching hospital, the UCF Lake Nona Hospital. Nemours Children’s Hospital and the VA Medical Center are nearby and, along with other facilities — both existing and planned — provide additional opportunities for collaboration.

The Elizabeth Morse Genius Foundation was established in 1959 and supports the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art in Winter Park, Florida, along with educational and other non-profit organizations that work to improve the quality of life.

The UCF Genius Innovation Challenge aligns with the foundation’s goals through its focus on an interprofessional approach, bringing together researchers, clinicians and students from various academic disciplines and professional fields to foster innovation and holistic healthcare.