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Novartis launches 10-year collaboration with HBCUs and more, to focus on health inequalities

Novartis and be Novartis US Foundation announced a planned ten-year collaboration to develop programs that address the root causes of systemic inequalities in health outcomes and to create greater diversity, equity and inclusion across the research and development ecosystem.

Novartis, which has its US headquarters in East Hanover, New Jersey, works with Coursera, the National Medical Association, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Morehouse School of Medicine and 26 other historically black colleges, universities and medical schools.

According to a press release, executives from all organizations have signed a pledge to develop programs aimed at building trust in the health system with colored communities and making measurable progress towards health equity. Efforts include improving access to quality education, improving health outcomes, increasing the variety of clinical trials, and more.

“At Novartis, we envision a world with health equity for all,” said CEO Dr. Vas Narasimhan in a prepared statement. “Just as there are a multitude of factors and causes of racial inequalities in health and education, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to this critical challenge. It requires concerted, urgent action from various stakeholders in the public and private sectors.

“We are honored and honored to work with these organizations to develop lasting solutions to some of the most pressing, profound, and historic challenges in the United States, and we invite other like-minded companies and organizations to join us in creating this To join paradigms change in equal opportunities in health care. ”

Novartis’ four areas of collaboration tackle inequalities

  1. Empower the next generation of Black and African American leaders by providing equal access to quality education and professional development for future leaders in health science, technology, and business;
  2. Supporting the establishment of digitally powered centers of excellence in clinical trials, managed and led by color clinical researchers, to build trust, increase diversity and inclusivity in clinical trials, and contribute to improved health outcomes for people of color;
  3. Research and validate existing data standards that drive diagnoses, clinical trial endpoints, and public health policies to identify areas of increased inclusivity and ensure accurate data collection and unbiased treatment decisions; and
  4. Establish digitally supported research centers on the effects of the environment and climate change on health to find solutions to environmental and climate problems that disproportionately affect color communities.

The collaborators will spend the next six months working with the communities to develop appropriate programs, including setting up the first centers at the Morehouse School of Medicine.

Scholarships and Grant Funding

In addition, as a first step, the Novartis US Foundation plans to invest US $20 million in scholarships, mentors and research grants over the next 10 years to provide equal access for HBCU students in health-related areas. The program, administered by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, will train and prepare up to 1,200 students, including the provision of up to 360 three-year scholarships valued at US $ 10,000 per year; Supervision of up to 1,200 students over three years; Promote application for Novartis internship programs; and up to 10 scholarships of $ 25,000 annually to the faculty of HBCU.

“Black and African American people suffered from educational and health disparities long before the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States,” said Dr. Patrice Matchaba, President of the Foundation, in a statement. “Their exclusion from the research and development ecosystem has led to distrust and delayed uptake of life-saving innovative drugs and effective care models, further exacerbating racial differences in care and outcomes.

“We are proud to come together to take our direction from members of the black and African American communities and other minority groups in programs that help achieve sustainable change.”