According to the New York Times, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ The Greenwood Initiative will donate $100 million over the next four years to four historically Black medical schools, with the goal of improving the health and wealth of Black communities which were hit especially hard by the coronavirus crisis.
Approximately 800 medical students from Charles R. Drew University of Science and Medicine in Los Angeles, Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, Meharry Medical College in Nashville, and Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta will each receive a grant of up to $100,000. These students are currently enrolled in medical school and are receiving financial aid.
Statistics show that there are better health outcomes for Black patients who are treated by Black doctors. These doctors also tend to treat minority patients and work in underserved communities. Bloomberg stated, “By increasing the number of Black doctors, we hope the gift will help to save more Black lives and reduce the health problems that limit economic opportunity in Black communities.”
According to Dr. Wayne Frederick, President of Howard University, Bloomberg’s donation came approximately four weeks after his representatives started reaching out to college and university officers regarding paths to increase Black communities’ wealth. This is a remarkably fast turn-around time for a donation of this size. Rather than offering solutions, Bloomberg’s team asked the schools to develop resolutions.
Black medical schools are hoping that others will follow in Bloomberg’s footsteps. Alumni of these schools often earn less than their white colleagues and are therefore less able to donate to their alma maters.
N.Y.U.’s School of Medicine was able to offer free medical education in 2018 after raising $450 million from contributors like billionaire Ken Langone.
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