AI News, IBM Watson Health invests $50 million in Brigham and Women's and ... artificial intelligence

Here and Now: Behind the Rise in Giving for University Public Health Initiatives

We typically view funder support for university health and medical initiatives as an exercise in “forward-looking” philanthropy.

According to this familiar narrative, one that has been around since the earliest days of modern philanthropy, donors cut checks with the hopes of generating that next major medical breakthrough or meeting the demand for future healthcare jobs.

A March analysis from the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust found that the number of deaths from alcohol, drugs and suicide in 2017 hit the highest level since the collection of Federal mortality data started in 1999.

Wayne Rollins Foundation pledged $65 million to Emory University toward construction of a third building at the Rollins School of Public Health, where students “learn to identify, analyze, and intervene in today's most pressing public health issues.” It may sound like a run-of-the-mill capital gift, but a closer look at Emory’s press release provides evidence to the contrary.

In February, IBM Watson Health announced a 10-year,$50 million investment in research collaborations with Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School andVanderbilt University Medical Center to advance the science of artificial intelligence and its application to “major public health issues.” Nor is the university public health gold rush relegated to mega-funders.

“One is in health care, and one is in society.” Dr. Miller attributed increasing disparities in health care and inequalities in income as crucial factors in the feelings of despair, loneliness and lack of belonging that contributed to suicides among many Americans.

The new school, which netted a $20 million lead gift from former Baxter International CEO Robert Parkinson and his wife Elizabeth, will “assist the poor and marginalized of our society” while “closing gaps in healthcare access and equity.” An Archetypal Regional Funder Established in 1967, the O.

“Construction of a third building dedicated to public health will enable the university to continue its upward trajectory as one of the world’s leading schools excelling in public health scholarship and research.”Groundbreaking is tentatively set for 2020.