GW Health Workforce Institute Receives $5.5 Million Grant

Award from Atlantic Philanthropies will promote equity in the health care workforce.

March 9, 2016

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The George Washington University Health Workforce Institute has received a $5.5 million grant from the Atlantic Philanthropies to embark on a five-year project to promote equity in the health care and health policy industries.

The funding will support the institute’s efforts to educate health professionals on strategies to address health disparities that exist in low-income and underserved communities and to prepare D.C. students from those communities for careers in health care.

“We live in a world of health disparities,” said Fitzhugh Mullan, who co-directs the GW Health Workforce Institute with Polly Pittman, associate professor in the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Mullan is also the Murdock Head Professor of Medicine and Health Policy and Professor of Pediatrics at the Milken Institute SPH and School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

“This Atlantic Philanthropies-sponsored initiative will enable GW to pioneer a new and expanded set of programs focused on the reduction of health workforce disparities,” Dr. Mullan said.  

The university-wide institute was created with a goal of making health care more responsive and reflective of all communities. Its efforts include training for physicians, nurses and leaders in the health industry and fostering research and a multidisciplinary network of organizations that focus on the social mission of the health sector.

Under the grant, 75 multidisciplinary global leaders will be selected for the Leaders for Health Equity Fellowship, a one-year program on advancing health workforce equity. 

The funding also will target D.C.-area students interested in health care, health equity and careers in the health sciences for mentorship and educational development led by the GW Health Workforce Institute team and the SMHS Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

GW also will work with the Beyond Flexner Alliance to create a national network of health professionals and organizations dedicated to integrating a social mission into professional health education.

“Atlantic has long been dedicated to improving access to quality health care and to supporting leaders and building the health workforce to achieve that outcome, particularly for disadvantaged and vulnerable communities,” said President and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies Christopher G. Oechsli.

“This grant exemplifies Atlantic’s fundamental strategies and initiatives to advance health equity in the United States and globally.”