Otago Trust gives $300,000
The Otago Community Trust has announced a $300,000 grant towards a Neurological Foundation Chair in Neurosurgery at the University of Otago.
A public fundraising campaign launched on Friday aims to raise $3 million to employ a professor and set up a neurosurgery research unit at the university.
The professor will also work as the third neurosurgeon at Dunedin Hospital.
The campaign had already generated a groundswell of public support, project manager Irene Mosley said, and the community trust grant takes the fundraising total to $812,360.
Chief executive Keith Ellwood said the Otago trust took its lead from the huge level of public support shown during the 2010 campaign that was successful in retaining neurosurgery in Dunedin, rather it than being based solely in Christchurch.
The strength of feeling shown during the first campaign made a compelling case for contributing to the fundraising, Mr Ellwood said.
The trust had watched the public's involvement from "the sidelines" with interest, he said.
The professor-led research unit would have huge benefits for the university, while helping support the vital clinical service of neurosurgery at Dunedin Hospital.
The University of Otago helped ensure good public health services in the South, and the trust wished to support that, Mr Ellwood said.
Since the launch, members of the campaign team had reported a positive response from the community, Mrs Mosley said.
"Everyone involved in the campaign says people are acknowledging their support.