Yale University announced on Thursday that it will create endowment funds totaling $250 million to support the development of future leaders in medicine, nursing, and public health.
Over the next five years, Yale will provide a total of $150 million of endowment to match endowment funds that will be raised by Yale School of Medicine, Yale School of Nursing, and Yale School of Public Health, President Peter Salovey and Provost Scott Strobel wrote in a message to the university community. Each school will receive up to $50 million in such matching funds.
“For the past two years, the pandemic has placed enormous strain on the workforce in these fields and increased the need for public health experts and health care professionals worldwide,” Salovey and Strobel wrote. “Health professionals — including our colleagues from the Yale School of Medicine (YSM), School of Nursing (YSN), and School of Public Health (YSPH) — have worked with great fortitude and dedication to save lives; develop COVID vaccines, treatments, and tests; and inform health policy.
“Their expertise will be even more critical as we recover from this pandemic and prepare to face adverse health effects from new and existing infectious and chronic diseases, health care inequities, resource scarcity, and other pressing challenges. Yale is committed to help address global demand for leaders who can guide individuals and communities to better health.”
The new investment will support financial aid and other educational initiatives at the three schools, the message said. And it will address some of the challenges made salient by the pandemic, including shortages of health professionals and the need for increased diversity in medicine, nursing, and public health. The distribution from these endowed funds will enhance scholarships and increase access to Yale’s three professional schools focused on improving health, fostering advancements in health equity, and enhancing the quality of health care for everyone.
“Raising philanthropy to advance our goal of reducing student debt is a priority,” said Dr. Nancy J. Brown, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean at YSM and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine. “These matching funds will inspire our donors.”
Ann Kurth, YSN dean and Linda Koch Lorimer Professor of Nursing, called the commitment “a clear affirmation from the university of the contribution that Yale School of Nursing makes on campus, in the nation, and around the globe.”
She continued: “YSN celebrates its centennial in 2023, and we are grateful to incorporate this extraordinary investment into our work as we look ahead to the next 100 years. The endowment match means that we can aim even higher to expand the impact and scope of what our faculty students, alumni, staff, and donors do — to answer the world’s call for better health.”
Yale also will provide a one-time $100 million addition to YSPH’s endowment to eliminate its structural deficit and the subsidy it receives from YSM, Salovey and Strobel said.
In a separate message Thursday, Yale announced it will reorganize YSPH as a free-standing professional school rather than as a department within YSM. These endowment funds will be made available upon the arrival of its next dean, at which point the school will have autonomous responsibility for its budget.
“The matching gifts present an exciting challenge to the wider YSPH, YSM, and YSN communities,” said Dr. Sten Vermund, the Anna M.R. Lauder Professor of Public Health, who plans to return to full-time teaching and research as a member of the faculty when his term ends June 30, 2022. “When each school raises $50 million of endowment support from its current and future donors, this generous and historic $50 million endowment match from the university will enable truly transformative work in preparing the next generation of health professionals in public health, medicine, and nursing.”
Calling the moment “historic,” Salovey and Strobel said Yale will help the school build on its immense contributions to public health over the past century, and that the changes ahead will support YSPH in transforming local and global health through innovative and collaborative education, research, and practice.
“As we emerge from the present public health crisis, we can create a more resilient and equitable future by supporting the next generation of health professionals,” they wrote. “The university’s commitment to develop future leaders in nursing, medicine, and public health will benefit not only the residents of this country but the well-being of everyone around the globe.”