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In 2018, the Saint Francis Health System donated a branch building to the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) Development Foundation. Just before the New Year, the Peoria Tribe of Oklahoma agreed to purchase the building for $375,000. “We have a special partnership with NEO and this was another way to show our support, while also acquiring an asset for the tribe,” said Chief of the Peoria Tribe Craig Harper. “The Peoria Tribe supports $1.3 million in scholarships each year for our eligible citizens, so we know how important the work of the NEO Foundation is in supporting students.”

NEO is nationally recognized by “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” as a top degree producer for Native American students and serves the northeast Oklahoma area that is home to nine Native tribes and nations. The purchase was made possible through the generous donation of a branch medical building near the Peoria Housing Authority. “Saint Francis Health System is committed to investing in the communities we serve through the support of health and wellness activities, education, and programs that seek to elevate the quality of life in our region,” said Lauren Landwerlin, executive director of Corporate Communication for Saint. Francis Health System. “We are pleased that this donation has benefited both NEO and the Peoria Tribe. Great things can happen when we’re all working toward the same goal—a better future for Oklahoma and all those who call it home.”

“We were so grateful for the donation from Saint Francis and the Peoria Tribe for purchasing the building,” said David Thomas, NEO Foundation Chair. “It’s a win for everyone involved and we are ready to put these funds to work in supporting our students.” The NEO Development Foundation distributes nearly $150,000 each year in student scholarships and operates a total fund of nearly $8 million. For more information or to give to the NEO Foundation, visit NEO.edu/foundation or contact Jennifer Walker at 918-540-6250. (Photo from left: Foundation Board Vice Chair Tommy Dodson, Chief of the Peoria Tribe Craig Harper, and Foundation Board Chair David Thomas)


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