Marking a major advance in its efforts to achieve equity in the delivery of health care, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Icahn Mount Sinai) announced today that its Institute for Health Equity Research (IHER) has received a landmark $20 million gift over four years from Royalty Pharma plc and certain members of its management team. The gift will establish the Mount Sinai-Royalty Pharma Alliance for Health Equity Research to support IHER in its ongoing efforts to close the health care disparity gap and translate discoveries into sustainable, scalable initiatives and policies that break down systemic barriers to care among communities in New York City, nationally and globally.
Launched in May 2020, IHER's mission is to identify, interrogate, and combat health inequities by building a future that is more equitable for all communities, including those that are non-white, low-income, immigrant, uninsured, and LGBTQ+. The disproportionate impact of issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic on these populations has highlighted the need for more rigorous study to identify the root causes and magnitude of disparities, to devise and test innovative solutions, and to take concrete action in response to findings.
"The pandemic has magnified the considerable consequences that health issues and crises create among underserved populations but also created an urgency to address these challenges," said Dennis S. Charney, MD, Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz Dean of Icahn Mount Sinai, and President for Academic Affairs of the Mount Sinai Health System. "This gift significantly enhances Mount Sinai's ability to understand the factors that contribute to health disparities in the communities that we serve and to develop strategic, resilient solutions that remove barriers to access. We are grateful to Royalty Pharma for this generous gift as well as their partnership as we advance medicine for all patients, families and communities."
The Mount Sinai-Royalty Pharma Alliance is an innovative undertaking that has the potential to shape the future of healthcare nationally and internationally. We are excited to partner with Mount Sinai in this comprehensive effort to improve the health and lives of underserved populations."
Pablo Legorreta, Royalty Pharma's founder and Chief Executive Officer
Since IHER's launch in 2020, several ambitions efforts have begun:
- Data and Research Core: Pioneering work demonstrating a links between genetic, clinical and environmental influences on health, such as on kidney disease disparities.
- Community Engagement Core: Leading local and national efforts to bring together community, clinical and academic stakeholders to build partnerships to advance COVID-19 vaccine and treatment equity, and diversify those who take part in clinical trials and other studies.
- Health Care Delivery Science Core: the Task Force to Address the Inclusion of Race in Clinical Algorithms has reviewed race-based clinical algorithms used by providers to make decisions about treatment options and could disadvantage Black and Latino individuals. IHER researchers are also collaborating with clinical departments to use disparities dashboards to identify and eliminate inequities in care.
- Research Workforce Core: The Exceptional Scholars Program identifies and supports talented Black, Latino, or Native American research faculty who are building careers in biomedical science and a collaboration with Goldman Sachs around their 1 Million Black Women initiative will provide support for upskilling and training diverse hospital employees as well as promote social entrepreneurship in the health sector.
- Mental Health Equity Research: A talented team is leading national efforts to create and expand capacity of church-affiliated mental health clinics to provide high quality, evidence-based programming in every state in the U.S.
"We must address health inequity and higher burden of disease and premature death in communities of color," said IHER Director Carol Horowitz, MD, MPH, Professor of Population Health Science and Policy, and Medicine, Dean for Gender Equity in Science and Medicine.
"We have an opportunity to break this cycle with scalable solutions with the support of Royalty Pharma. We will achieve this goal and create new models for delivering equitable care for the incredibly socioeconomically, demographically, and culturally varied populations that we serve." said IHER Co-Director Lynne Richardson, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine and of Population Health Science and Policy at Icahn Mount Sinai.
The Mount Sinai-Royalty Pharma Alliance will create opportunities for joint research collaborations that expand and leverage Mount Sinai's population data-;one of the largest and most diverse nationwide – and Royalty Pharma's existing data and knowledge resources with the goal of generating meaningful insights. As well as volunteer opportunities for Royalty Pharma employees to provide expertise and skills to address IHER's needs and advance its mission.