As healthcare executives ponder how to achieve more diversity in their board rooms, one medical college is moving to generate the diverse population needed in top leadership positions.
Endowing future leaders
Meharry gets $9 million from RWJ Foundation
Meharry Medical College, Nashville, will use a $9 million endowment from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish a center for health policy, in a move that was announced March 5. Officials said that they believe the center will become a national leader in incorporating more minority voices into the health-policy debate. For the U.S. as a country, weve always been strengthened by our diversity, said John Lumpkin, senior vice president of the foundation.
The center will have an executive director and six faculty staff members supplied by Meharry and Vanderbilt University, which is a collaborator in the center and also in Nashville. The college hopes to have 25 students pursuing doctoral degrees in health policy with another 100 medical students choosing health policy certification within the centers first five years, said Wayne Riley, a physician who is president and chief executive officer of Meharry.
Areas of study the center will focus on include health economics and the sociological aspects of healthcare. The center also will host national conferences and symposia to discuss the politics of healthcare and the future of programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, Riley said.
The 132-year-old, historically black college was a natural for the endowment, Riley said. A college that started after the Civil War to teach healing arts to former slaves is the right place for minority students today to be exposed to rigorous study of health policy and toas leaderstake that knowledge back to their communities, he said. The center at Meharry is the second health-policy center established by the foundation.
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