GW’s Milken Institute School of Public Health Receives Largest Gift by Faculty to Fund Unique Center for Community Health for Caribbean and Latin America

WASHINGTON (April 13, 2022) — The Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University announced it has received a record setting donation from a faculty member, which will establish the Gill-Lebovic Center for Community Health in the Caribbean and Latin America. The gift, from Holly Gill and her husband, GW political science professor James Lebovic, will work to improve health outcomes, focusing on the region’s most vulnerable and marginalized groups, including women and families, mobile and migrant populations, and impoverished communities.

Over the past three decades, Gill and Lebovic have worked directly in the region to support communities. The center will focus on community health programs that link to local organizations in these countries and can provide a direct improvement in public health outcomes. 

The Center will build on existing projects and focus on interdisciplinary work that involves conducting research, training students and health professionals, and creating sustainable models for healthier communities across the Caribbean and Latin America, including Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.

Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz, an associate professor at Milken Institute School of Public Health and native of Puerto Rico with existing projects in the Caribbean, noted that the center will take a novel approach unlike the typical focus on a specific population or country.  “An integrated community-based approach and our in-depth understanding of the region sets us apart, said Rodriguez-Diaz. “We don’t work in silos. We understand the community and its needs first, then partner with them to build solutions with research or service. Most researchers bring an idea that already has funding that they need to use to the community instead. Our solutions are sustainable because we facilitate community ownership in the process.”

Learn more about the gift and the Gill-Lebovic Center for Community Health in the Caribbean and Latin America here.