Morehouse School Of Medicine Awarded $40M To Fight Covid-19

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Written by Ann Brown
Morehouse
HBCU Morehouse School of Medicine has been awarded $40 million by the U.S. Department of Health Office of Minority Health to fight covid-19. Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash/ Photo Credit: Instagram / @morehouseschoolofmedicine https://www.instagram.com/p/B_vg0jPhgy2/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Morehouse College School of Medicine has been awarded $40 million to fight covid-19 through a new partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health.

The new initiative says it aims to fight coronavirus in racial and ethnic minority, rural, and socially vulnerable communities.

Morehouse will work with the government office to “lead the initiative to coordinate a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal, and local organizations to deliver covid-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.”

The initiative — the National Infrastructure for Mitigating the Impact of Covid-19 within Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities (NIMIC) — is a three-year project. The goal is to help community-based organizations across the U.S. to deliver education and information on resources to help fight the pandemic, WSBTV reported.

Black and brown communities have been hit disproportionately hard by the coronavirus pandemic, 11 Alive reported. 

“Underlying social determinants of health and disparate burdens of chronic medical conditions are contributing to worse covid-related outcomes in minority and socially vulnerable communities, and this partnership with Morehouse School of Medicine is essential to improving our overall response,” said Assistant Secretary for Health ADM Brett P. Giroir, M.D. in a press statement. “We’ve made important strides over the past few months in fighting the pandemic, and with Morehouse School of Medicine as our partner, we are ready to advance our efforts to support our most affected communities.”

The announcement comes as seven states are reporting the highest coronavirus hospitalizations since the pandemic began.

“The Morehouse School of Medicine will enter into a cooperative agreement with OMH to lead the initiative to coordinate a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal, and local organizations to deliver covid-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic,” according to a press release.

“The Trump Administration has made it a priority to support and empower Americans who have been most impacted by covid-19, including minority, rural, and socially vulnerable communities,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This new partnership between the Morehouse School of Medicine and our Office of Minority Health will work with trusted community organizations to bring information on covid-19 testing, vaccinations, and other services to the Americans who need it.”

When he met with HBCUs in September 2019, Trump claimed that no other administration has done more for them than his. Trump said earlier that he had signed a bill restoring $255 million in annual HBCU funding that lapsed after Congress failed to renew it, AP reported.

This is not the only big award Morehouse has received lately. Earlier this month, philanthropists Patty Quillin and Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, donated $40 million to the Morehouse College Student Success Program to establish a fund that will allow at least 200 students to graduate debt free. 

It was the largest gift to Morehouse College in the institution’s 153-year history and has contributed to a record year in which the college has raised more than $105 million, according to a Morehouse news release.

The donation by Quillin and Hastings came in the wake of protests against racism and police brutality that spread through the country following the police murder of George Floyd. 

Black people have the lowest median net worth of any group, according to the U.S. Census. Under the Morehouse debt-erasing Student Success Program scholarship, students can pursue advanced degrees, start careers and build wealth without being burdened by undergraduate student loan debt. 

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Quillin and Hastings also announced they would donate $40 million each to Spelman College and the UNCF.

“We’ve supported these three extraordinary institutions for the last few years because we believe that investing in the education of Black youth is one of the best ways to invest in America’s future,” Quillin and Hastings said. “Both of us had the privilege of a great education and we want to help more students—in particular students of color—get the same start in life. HBCUs have a tremendous record, yet are disadvantaged when it comes to giving. Generally, white capital flows to predominantly white institutions, perpetuating capital isolation. We hope this additional $120 million donation will help more Black students follow their dreams and also encourage more people to support these institutions – helping to reverse generations of inequity in our country.”