SALT LAKE CITY -- Western Governors University, a private, non-profit, competency-based online university supported by 19 governors and more than 20 corporations and foundations, today announced the Sorenson Legacy Foundation has donated $150,000 to help start the university's new College of Health Professions. Scheduled to open November 1, 2006, the new college will serve adults working in the health care industry who might otherwise be unable to further their education because of pressing commitments, such as family and work. The program will be the first national, accredited, competency-based online program for health care professionals. The Sorenson Legacy Foundation is a charitable organization established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family to promote altruistic and philanthropic endeavors. Sorenson, a Utahn, is one of America's top biotechnology pioneers and invented many medical devices that today are standard equipment in operating rooms and intensive care units. He is known foremost for developing the computerized heart monitor; he also invented the first disposable paper surgical mask, the first plastic venous catheter and the first blood recycling system for trauma and surgical procedures. "People who are called to the health care professions to ease pain and suffering and to improve the lives of others deserve our help as well as our everlasting respect," said Sorenson. "And WGU is an innovative way to serve those who can't further their health care education in the traditional way." WGU's mission is to improve access to higher education for underserved individuals by enabling them to learn in an online environment independent of time or place, at an affordable cost. About the Sorenson Legacy Foundation The Sorenson Legacy Foundation based in Salt Lake City, Utah, is a non-profit corporation established by the James LeVoy Sorenson family for the exclusive purpose of promoting charitable, religious, educational, literary and scientific endeavors. The Foundation is qualified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.