Milken Institute School of Public Health Receives Major Foundation Award for Health Equity Training and Leadership Program, Endowed Professorship

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 22, 2019) — The Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity (Mullan Institute), based at Milken Institute School of Public Health (Milken Institute SPH) at the George Washington University, continues to reach significant milestones in its work to build a stronger, more inclusive health workforce and  reduce disparities in health. Today, the Mullan Institute announced supplemental funding from The Atlantic Philanthropies to amplify its mission to advance and promote health equity issues on a global scale.

The Mullan Institute previously received $25 million from The Atlantic Philanthropies to establish the Atlantic Fellows for Heath Equity program, which develops global leaders to understand and address health disparities, and operate it through 2026. The additional $10.1 million award will be used to strengthen the program and extend its operation through at least 2027. The award will also support the Beyond Flexner Alliance, an organization focused on efforts to integrate social justice into education and medical practice.

In addition, The Atlantic Philanthropies has granted $3 million to endow the Fitzhugh Mullan Professor of Health Workforce Equity. This professorship will advance the initiatives of the Mullan Institute, conduct research aimed at strengthening health workforce equity in the United States and around the world, and collaborate with faculty and students at Milken Institute SPH.

“We are honored to have The Atlantic Philanthropies’ continued support to build healthier, more equitable communities,” said Lynn R. Goldman, MD, MS, MPH, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean at Milken Institute SPH. “This generous award allows us to build on our world-class research and work to find solutions for health disparities in the United States and globally.”

The yearlong Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program based at the Mullan Institute is currently training its third annual class of fellows. The program trains emerging leaders on the fundamentals of health equity and proven strategies to reduce health disparities. The annual fellowship cohort is composed of 20 early-mid career leaders from the United States and around the world who bring expertise in law, economics, medicine, dentistry, and nursing, among other specialties.

“The Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity champion some of the world’s most challenging and pressing health problems,” said Guenevere Burke, MD, MBA, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at GW’s School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) and co-director of the program. “The fellowship gives our GW community the extraordinary opportunity to be part of a global movement dedicated to improving health for all.” 

The Mullan Institute was named in April to honor Fitzhugh Mullan, MD, a professor of health policy and management and pediatrics at Milken Institute SPH and SMHS, and his lifelong commitment to social justice, health equity and health workforce policies. The Mullan Institute was originally founded in 2015 as the GW Health Workforce Institute, created to further research and education in health workforce equity.

“We’ve already graduated 35 fellows with another 20 this year who are leading health equity initiatives all over the world,” said Mullan, co-director of the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program. “From rural primary care promotion in the Philippines to academic enrichment programs for disadvantaged students interested in dentistry in Tennessee, our fellows are all serving on the front lines of health disparities.”

In 2018, The Atlantic Philanthropies welcomed the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity into the global Atlantic Fellows Program, which encompasses seven programs operating across five continents. More than 250 fellows participate annually in the programs that work toward fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. The Atlantic Philanthropies committed nearly $700 million to support the work of the global network of Atlantic Fellows over the next 20 years.

“Our final grant allocations in 2016 included funds to bolster the work of the Atlantic Fellows,” said Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of The Atlantic Philanthropies. “We’re proud to announce this support for the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity, the Fitzhugh Mullan Professor of Health Workforce Equity, and the Beyond Flexner Alliance to pave the way to policies and practices that will help realize healthier and more just communities around the world.”