Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) announced plans to raise $225 million to support scholarships, programs, facilities, research, clinical innovation, and community service as part of the historically Black institution’s first-ever comprehensive capital campaign, “IMPACT: The World Needs What We Do Best.”

The fundraising plan includes a $75-million endowment to help alleviate the significant debt burden that Morehouse School of Medicine’s students typically face.

“We are on a mission to change the world, a mission that is more important now than ever before, as America makes its way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and attempts to address social injustice,” said President Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD. “These problems have a disproportionately negative impact on disadvantaged communities. We at Morehouse School of Medicine are working to change that. But we can’t do it without support.”

That debt can hamstring their dreams of practicing in primary care and underserved communities and risks exacerbating the nationwide shortage of Black physicians.

This is a significant issue, given that studies show that Black patients — who are much more likely to die from COVID-19, heart disease, and other conditions — tend to fare better when treated by Black doctors.

“Morehouse School of Medicine is one of the leading educators of Black physicians in the country, with an attrition rate far lower than that experienced at white-majority medical schools,” said David Abney, campaign co-chair and former chairman and chief executive officer of UPS Inc.

“MSM understands its students and that they tend to come from more challenging socioeconomic backgrounds and carry higher levels of debt than their peers. MSM knows how to nurture these students and help them succeed to graduation.”

For more than 45 years Morehouse School of Medicine has been a leader in educating the medical professionals the nation needs most — those dedicated to primary care and to serving the underserved. Indeed, about 66 percent of MSM’s graduates go on to practice in primary care and 72 percent plan to work in a primarily underserved area.

“Our students are some of the best in the world, and time and time again they put aside financial considerations to take on lower-paying jobs in underserved communities,” said Senior Vice President for Institutional Advancement Bennie L. Harris, PhD. “They really believe in MSM’s mission and vision, and they carry it through into their careers and their communities.”

This work has not gone unnoticed — MSM twice bested other medical schools for its commitment to the social mission of medical education — and has recently attracted attention and significant funding from such sources as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“Morehouse School of Medicine’s work does not just affect one slice of the population,” said Larry Renfro, campaign co-chair, vice chairman of UnitedHealth Group, and founding and managing partner of Optum Ventures.

“Health inequity costs our economy billions of dollars in excess healthcare expenditures, lost productivity, emergency room visits, hospital stays, and chronic illnesses.

This radiates beyond individual communities. Premiums go up, and the healthcare system suffers. A lot of medical schools acknowledge these problems. Morehouse School of Medicine is leading the way toward real solutions.”

To view the video announcement of the IMPACT campaign, please visit https://msmimpact.org/announcement/. For more information, please visit www.msmimpact.org.

(Photo: Courtesy of Morehouse School of Medicine)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.