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August 22, 2006

Contact: Patricia Adams

Lessans Named an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award Winner in Maryland

Baltimore, Md. – University of Maryland School of Nursing alumna Frances Lessans, MS '85, BSN '80, president of Passport Health and a member of the School of Nursing's Board of Visitors, has received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 Award in the “Healthcare Education and Related Service” category in Maryland. The award, which recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses, was presented at the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 20th anniversary gala held recently at the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore.

Lessans' company, Passport Health, provides comprehensive counseling and information about diseases and immunizations to corporate and leisure travelers. The business, which began in 1994, currently includes 50 franchise territories with multiple sites in each territory.

“Ernst & Young is proud of its history in recognizing these outstanding leaders and their companies,” said Bill Cole, director of the Maryland Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program.

As a Maryland award winner, Lessans is eligible for consideration for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 national program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the overall national Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, will be announced at the annual awards gala to be held in Palm Springs, Calif., in November. The overall National Entrepreneur of the Year award recipient is then considered for the world event held in Monte Carlo.

“We are proud to count Fran Lessans among our cadre of highly-motivated and successful alumni,” said Janet D. Allan, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN, dean of the School of Nursing. “As a businesswoman and a nurse, her contributions to our Board of Visitors are invaluable.”

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