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Posted: November 26, 2013

Philanthropist's gift helps UNTHSC geriatrics program bloom

Allan Saxe SAGE gift
Allan Saxe
When Allan Saxe decided to make a $125,000 gift to the UNT Health Science Center, it didn't take him long to figure out which program he wanted his donation to support.

Seniors Assisting in Geriatric Education, or SAGE, connects medical students with older citizens in Tarrant County to improve their overall health and independence.

"It deals with growing old - and that's me!" joked the 74-year-old North Texas philanthropist.

More seriously, Saxe said, "As everyone knows, old people are living longer now. And I feel that it is really important to focus on their health. The SAGE program is a great way to do that."

Janice Knebl, DO, Chief of the Division of Geriatrics at UNTHSC and leader of the SAGE program, said Saxe's gift helped the institution sustain and expand the program.

"More than 800 seniors have benefited from free check-ups and the companionship of a team of medical students who learn from the direct experience of visiting with a senior mentor," Knebl said. "These senior mentors are also playing a role in contributing to students' medical training in a meaningful way."

Recently, Saxe, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, visited for the first time a garden UNTHSC dedicated in honor of him and his fiancée, Ruthie Brock. Yellow, purple and white flowers bloomed around a rock wall bearing his name.

A handful of medical students showed up to thank Saxe for his generosity.

"As I tell people - UNT Health Science Center is truly a gem," Saxe said. "I'm proud to support an institution that does such incredible work."

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