In early September, Bloomberg Philanthropies presented Drew University with a gift of $7.7 million, the largest single donation received by CDU. It’s part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative, which was established to accelerate the pace of Black wealth accumulation.
Soon after, Drew University received a $7.2 million donation from the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development to support public mental health professionals and enhance mental health services in under-resourced areas, like South Los Angeles.
The Bloomberg Philanthropies gift will be used to provide scholarships of up to $100,000 over the next four years to nearly half of the medical students who are currently enrolled and receiving financial aid at Drew University. The funds will also help relieve medical school debt for low-income students.
“More Black doctors will mean more Black lives saved and fewer health problems that limit economic opportunity,” Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg, said in a statement.
The OSHPD donation will allocate $5.5 m
The remaining $1.7 million from the OSHPD contribution will be used to fund 366 public psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner slots at the university’s Mervyn M. Dymally School of Nursing.
The pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues and increased the need for psychiatric and psychological services, particularly in the types of marginalized communities served by Drew University.
“This is really going to help propel the training and recruitment of mental and behavior specialists in south Los Angeles,” said David Carlisle, Drew’s president and chief executive.
Diane Breckenridge, dean of Drew University’s School of Nursing, said the OSHPD funding will boost recruiting and training of public mental health nurse practitioners from communities of color, which are underrepresented in the profession.
Carlisle said that “behavioral health care has suffered” due to a lack of diversity in the field. The OSHPD donation will be used to develop new training and to supplement existing programs.
Drew University’s mission is to achieve health equity through education, clinical service and community engagement.
Since its founding in 1966, the university has produced more than 600 physicians, 1,225 physician assistants and more than 1,000 other health professionals. It has also trained more 2,700 physician specialists.
A leader in health disparities research, CDU focuses on treatment and care in cancer, diabetes, cardiometabolic and HIV/AIDS.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.