The Valente Foundation has provided consistent funding for the Dept. of Emergency Medicine at the University of New Mexico for the past 10 years. The Foundation was first formed in honor of Mr. Valente's wife, Lena. Since then the Foundation has provided funding to various physicians, mostly in the State of California. Prior to our collaboration, Mr. Valente was himself an ED patient at the University of California in Sacramento. At that time, George Valente chose to support the research work of Drs Weiss and Ernst. When Drs Weiss and Ernst moved from Sacramento to Albuquerque, the strength of the bond between them and the foundation was so strong that the Valente Foundation decided to continue funding these researchers in New Mexico. During the years of collaboration, George Valente and Dr Weiss became good friends as well as research collaborators.
Since 2005, under the guidance of George Valente and Lynn Volkerts, George’s daughter, the Foundation has generously donated money for EM research at UNM. The foundation has asked that their funds be directed toward emergency medical services, injury prevention and other emergency medicine research solely under the supervision of Drs Weiss and Ernst, who work tirelessly to ensure that the funds are spent carefully and with significant returns for the Foundation's investment.
Valente Foundation money supports resident, fellow and faculty-led emergency medicine and injury prevention research. Thanks to the foundation support, a student scholarship for undergraduate medical research students was created. Over the years, some of this support has even been matched by the Dept. of Emergency Medicine, increasing the scope and breadth of the research. Since the beginning of work with the foundation, Drs Weiss and Ernst have been able to document 36 scientific papers and 53 abstracts that could not have been written or presented at national meetings without the Valente support. They can easily say that the help from George Valente and Lynn Volkerts has affected the lives of well over 100 researchers and physicians in training. Some recent research projects include a study to improve wellness among prehospital providers, studies to address emergency department overcrowding, and child and intimate partner violence among ED patients. Scott Oglesbee is currently the Valente Research Coordinator who administers the fund's spending and coordinates research projects. Drs Weiss and Ernst are greatly indebted to the Valente foundation which changed their lives, helped further their work in areas that they consider important and aided in their progress to significantly impact EM research.