The more money you have, the longer you’re likely to live.
That’s what studies have shown over the years–highlighting how social determinants of health can deeply impact the quality and length of life. Unfortunately, Black people are the most adversely affected by healthcare inequities. In 2020, it was found that there was a 1.5-year decline in national life expectancy that year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and inadequate access to culturally competent healthcare.
Billionaire philanthropist MacKenzie Scott is aiming to help address this with her recent transformative donation of $12 million to National Medical Fellowships (NMF), an organization dedicated to building health equity by providing scholarships to BIPOC medical students.
The only organization devoted exclusively to this mission, NMF has recently expanded its efforts to focus on creating pipeline opportunities to enter into healthcare roles that address every level of patient care.
“MacKenzie Scott’s transformative philanthropic investment is the jet fuel NMF needs to take bold and decisive action to build a more equitable and healthy future for communities of color in the U.S.,” says NMF President and CEO Michellene Davis, Esq in a news release. “This gift is particularly timely as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a disproportionate toll on communities of color and shines a spotlight on the human cost of health inequity. NMF will use this unrestricted gift to build its endowment and accelerate our work to invest in the development of BIPOC health care leaders who are laser-focused on eliminating unnecessary and preventable health disparities experienced by communities of color.”
The funds will be used to help offset large medical school costs for students of color.
“NMF is deeply grateful that MacKenzie Scott has recognized the impactful work we have been doing for more than 75 years to advance health equity by providing scholarships to students underrepresented in medicine” says NMF Board of Directors Chair and alumna Sandra B. Nichols, MD, FAAFP, MHCDS, MS. “This gift sends a message to these students who are interested in pursuing a career in healthcare. It tells them they are needed, welcomed, and will be supported as they work to attain their degrees so they may transform the health care system into one that serves all communities equally.”