port of harlem magazine
Theo Hodge, Jr. M.D.
Bloomberg Philanthropies Helps Expand Black Medical School COVID-19 Operations
April 22 – May 05, 2021

howard university hospital bus


Bloomberg Philanthropies is providing more than $6 million collectively to the nation’s four historically Black medical schools to expand their mobile unit COVID-19 vaccine operations in their local communities including Meharry Medical College (Nashville, Tennessee); Howard University College of Medicine (Washington, DC); Morehouse School of Medicine (Atlanta, Georgia) and Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (Los Angeles, California). The schools’ mobile units reach the most vulnerable and work with trusted partners, such as churches and senior centers, to set up temporary vaccination sites.

The support from Bloomberg Philanthropies will provide mobile medical unit upgrades, paid staffing for the units, medical supplies, and increase outreach to the community to help each institution expand vaccine access within Black communities and to significantly increase their weekly vaccination rates.

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Greenwood Initiative is an effort to accelerate the pace of Black wealth accumulation in the United States and address decades of systemic underinvestment in Black communities. The first investment of the initiative, made last September during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, was a $100 million partnership with the nation’s four historically Black medical schools to help ease the debt burden of approximately 800 Black medical students. Studies have shown that Black patients have better health outcomes when cared for by Black doctors but Black medical students face a disproportionate financial burden to become doctors.

“COVID-19 has been devastating to the health and economic wellbeing of many Black families – and right now, increasing equitable access to vaccines is one way we can serve the needs of those who need it most,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City.

Funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies will allow the Howard University College of Medicine to purchase a new, larger mobile unit to meet vaccination demand in Washington, D.C. and stand up a call center to make appointments over the phone for those who are unable to schedule online appointments. Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick, M.D. MBA, added “By helping fund our mobile unit, Bloomberg will enable us to vaccinate more of the Black community, a critical step in mitigating the effects of a devastating virus that has disproportionately affected African-American individuals.”

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