About $2 million has been raised for improving racial equity in health through the ThriveOn Collaboration, a partnership between Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Royal Capital Group.
A press release from the collaboration credited African American philanthropists for leading the fundraising effort, and particularly, Cory Nettles of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s board and Jackie Herd-Berber of the Medical College of Wisconsin’s board.
The goal is to create a $5 million permanent source of research funds for Dr. Leonard Egede, a professor of medicine, director of the Center for Advancing Population Science and leader of health equity research at the Medical College of Wisconsin who was recently endowed a chair appointment focused on health equity research.
Egede has spent 20 years in medicine and joined the medical college in 2017. He will use the funds to research and develop ways to reduce chronic disease and health disparities in communities of color. Egede has said he is putting together a model to address chronic stress people of color are facing, as well as systemic racism in health care.
“Patients say, ‘My very existence every day is very challenging,’” Egede said. “Chronic stress leads to disease. Disease leads to disability, and disability leads to loss of social capital. The individual who is sick cannot contribute to the economy and that impacts the economic base of that environment.”
The ThriveOn Collaboration focuses on housing, early childhood education, health and wellness, social cohesion and economic opportunity in the Halyard Park, Harambee and Brewers Hill neighborhoods. The group is working to restore and redevelop the former Gimbels-Schuster’s Department Store at 2153 N. King Drive, where it plans to hold community engagement programs.
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