About Milken Institute School of Public Health
The School of Public Health and Health Services has been renamed the Milken Institute School of Public Health in recognition of exceptional and generous contributions from the Milken Institute, the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation and the Milken Family Foundation. These gifts mark the largest donation ever received by the university. Our school has long been a recognized leader in the public health field and will now be able to significantly increase its research and education initiatives through increased funding and expertise and address some of the most important public health challenges of our time.
Why The School of Public Health and Health Services Changed its Name
By Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Public Health at the Milken Institute School of Public Health
For decades Michael Milken, the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation have been strong and articulate advocates of public health programs that save lives. Over the past 40 years, the Milken family has given over $1 billion to many worthy causes -- most significantly, medical research and education. These dollars have saved lives, and have improved the lives, of millions of people who have battled against grave diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and AIDS. We were a co-host of the Milken Institute Celebration of Science in Washington in 2012, where the Majority Leaders in both the U.S. House and the Senate, as well as the heads of the NIH, the National Science Foundation, White House advisors, Nobel laureates, the heads of major charitable foundations and many other national and international leaders joined in saluting Mike Milken’s life-saving initiatives. In January 2014, the Milken Institute and the CDC Foundation co-hosted the Summit on Public Health at CDC’s Atlanta headquarters, an event focused on advancing global public health in which leaders of both the Institute and GW actively participated. We are honored that the Milken Institute and the Milken Family Foundation, with their long history of philanthropy, are now putting significant resources behind the prevention of disease and the promotion of wellness. We applaud this as an example to philanthropists everywhere to join hands to support the twin causes of higher education and public health. This is a significant step forward in the global battle to reduce mortality and increase quality of life. We are proud of the positive impacts that our students and faculty are making every day, and excited about the opportunity to take our work to this next level. The Milken Institute School of Public Health will now be able to affect positive change in the health of vulnerable populations the world over.
A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Milken Institute is a nonpartisan, independent think tank whose work makes a difference in the lives of people worldwide by helping create a more democratic and efficient global economy. The Milken Institute believes in the power of capital markets to solve urgent social and economic challenges. The institute produces rigorous, data-driven research — and turns ideas into action by convening senior decision-makers who can make a difference in the marketplace and around the world. The Milken Institute’s mission is to improve lives around the world by advancing innovative economic and policy solutions that create jobs, widen access to capital and enhance health.
Over the past 20 years, the non-partisan Milken Institute has become a highly respected non-profit public charity with substantial health-policy expertise. Its Washington-based FasterCures center is not only working effectively to remove barriers to progress against a wide range of life-threatening diseases, but also brings together the key representatives of government, industry, academia, clinical centers, philanthropy and advocacy organizations to focus on prevention, wellness and cures. In 2012, FasterCures hosted the Celebration of Science, a major Washington event held on the campuses of GW and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to reaffirm the importance of bioscience and change the world for future generations. The annual Milken Institute Global Conference convenes health leaders from around the world. And the Institute’s ongoing research/publications in areas such as obesity, chronic diseases, aging and other public health issues helps inform and shape public policy.
GW’s School of Public Health is a leading health policy and research institution in Washington, D.C. – the center of public health in the United States and globally. It is uniquely positioned adjacent to such public organizations as the World Bank, the State Department, the National Institutes of Health and other health agencies of the U.S. Government. It is highly focused on translating science into policies, programs, interventions and solutions. Its Department of Health Policy is the only department in any public health school in the U.S. devoted exclusively to policy. Together with the Milken Institute, the public health school will reach out to other schools of public health to develop advanced approaches that can save more lives worldwide.
From medical research to education to efforts to aid the poor and impoverished around the world, the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation seeks to advance aims that align with Mr. Redstone’s lifelong commitment to innovation, empowerment and progress.
The Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation will provide $30 million to GW to develop and advance innovative strategies to expand wellness and disease prevention. The gift will fund the establishment of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness. The university has a longstanding connection to Mr. Redstone, whose grandson is an alumnus of George Washington. The university has been honored to host Mr. Redstone on several occasions, awarding him an honorary degree in 2006 as part of the university-wide commencement on the National Mall. Mr. Redstone also delivered the annual Maxon Lecture at the George Washington University School of Business in 2003.
Q: How will the gifts be used?
A: The gifts will support faculty, programs and student scholarships.
Q: What do these gifts mean for the George Washington University School of Public Health?
A: These gifts mark a new phase for GW’s School of Public Health. The $80 million gift combined with our new public health building, which will house the Milken Institute School of Public Health, will further the school’s standing as a hub of research, teaching, analysis and discovery in Washington, D.C.
Q: Moving forward, what changes can we expect to see within the School of Public Health?
A: The school has been renamed the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the dean’s position will be titled The Michael and Lori Milken Dean of Public Health. Furthermore, the dean will award Michael and Lori Milken Public Health Scholarships, which will create even more opportunities for students. We will also establish the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness which will focus on prevention of disease and promotion of wellness. Overall we will see a greater capacity for the school to take on some of the greatest public health challenges.
Q: How do these gifts build upon the already existing strengths of the School of Public Health?
A: GW’s School of Public Health is currently a leader in its field, and these generous gifts will help GW to build on its excellence in public health policy and prevention science, to develop innovative new approaches to saving lives, and to build collaborations in the U.S. and internationally to drive improvements in health.
Q: What types of public health issues will these gifts allow the George Washington University School of Public Health to tackle?
A: These gifts will allow the school to even better address some of the most complex public health issues of our time, starting with obesity, the serious health impacts of obesity in the U.S. and globally, and ways to improve health, nutrition and physical activity.
Q: Why is this gift important for the George Washington University?
A: These extraordinary gifts collectively represent the largest donation ever received by the George Washington University. Such a generous contribution to the university demonstrates a commitment to the health of people all over the world.
Press inquiries contact Kathy Fackelmann, director of media relations at the Milken Institute School of Public Health.
The Washington Post: GWU to Receive $80 Million for Public Health; Donors are Milken and Redstone