The crowd stood and cheered as the UCF College of Medicine received a $1 million donation Tuesday from the Harmony Institute, according to a press release.

The Institute will fund the first three years of a study conducted by UCF in partnership with the University of Miami.

The donation will go toward researching whether living in a community that encourages interaction between residents, animals and nature improves public health.

About 100 people, including Harmony, Florida, residents, researchers and government officials, attended the check presentation to Dr. Deborah German, vice president for medical affairs and founding dean of the College of Medicine.

Also there to receive the check was Pascal Goldschmidt, senior vice president for medical affairs and dean of the University of Miami's Leonard M. Miler School of Medicine.

"For the first time in history, we have the opportunity to look at every aspect of what's in a community and how it contributes to health and wellness," said Dr. Clyde McCoy, UCF's principal investigator, professor and chair emeritus of Miami's Department of Public Health Sciences, in a release.

Studies will examine the impact of human-nature interaction but also on the health of families and the community across generations.

"This is not just about one community," Dr. McCoy said. "This is our opportunity to make a global impact."

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