Novartis invests $ 33.7 million in HBCUs to promote health equity


Novartis donates to a number of historically black academic institutions to help resolve inequalities in healthcare and education.

The pharmaceutical company, along with the Morehouse School of Medicine, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Coursera, and the National Medical Association, are investing a total of $ 33.7 million in the effort. The organizations, along with 26 HBCUs, colleges and medical schools, aim to alleviate some of the mistrust surrounding healthcare in communities of color. Their pledge, released today, details a series of programs that the coterie of donors and educators will launch in an effort to advance towards an end to racially unequal health care, which they have described as “endemic.”

The pledge cites research that shows black Americans have shorter life expectancies, higher cancer death rates, and higher infant mortality rates than white Americans, according to the Department of Minority Health’s Office. Health and Social Services.

The funds will be spread over 10 years to start. The Novartis US Foundation plans to allocate $ 13.7 million in money to three research centers at the Morehouse School of Medicine, which will aim to set a standard for clinical participants and clinical researchers of various races. Novartis says a lack of diversity in trials is the result of “reluctance to participate among minority patients”, which also extends to reluctance to vaccinate.

“Blacks and African Americans suffered disparities in education and health in the United States long before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Patrice Matchaba, president of the American foundation Novartis. “We are proud of. . . take direction of Black and African American community members and other minority groups on [these] programs. “

The remaining $ 20 million from the investment will go to educational efforts over a decade, such as scholarships and mentorships, to provide HBCU students with equitable education and opportunities to learn in the medical field.

“This is the first collaboration of its kind and the Morehouse School of Medicine is delighted to work with Novartis and this coalition,” said Valerie Montgomery Rice, President and CEO of the Morehouse School of Medicine. “We know that real change starts here, when the work is done to have a meaningful impact on representation and inclusion. “

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