Morehouse School of Medicine, CommonSpirit Health Ink $100M Partnership to Train More Black Doctors
Photo Credit: Instagram / @morehouseschoolofmedicine

Morehouse School of Medicine, CommonSpirit Health Ink $100M Partnership to Train More Black Doctors

If you want to see a change in a broken system, it’s best to make it happen on your own.

Morehouse School of Medicine and CommonSpirit Health have joined forces for a 10-year, $100 million partnership that will increase access to culturally competent care and reduce health disparities.

According to PR Newswire, the partnership will combat the underlying causes of health disparities through the development and training of more Black physicians.

CommonSpirit Health (CommonSpirit) is one of America’s largest health systems with locations in 21 states coast to coast and Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) is not only one of America’s leading educators of primary care physicians but a historically known Black medical school.

Their joint undergraduate and graduate medical education program will train and educate the next generation of culturally competent health clinicians and researchers.

“Of the 21,863 students entering medical school in 2019, only 1,626 were Black — and only 619 were Black males,” said Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean. “This statistic is alarming for many reasons, not the least of which is the impact on patient care. Studies show that Black patients have better outcomes when treated by Black doctors.”

PR Newswire reports that although there are currently 155 accredited medical schools in the U.S., MSM and the only other three historically Black medical schools are responsible for the majority of the nation’s Black physicians.

On the other hand, CommonSpirit cares for more Medicaid patients than any other health system in the United States and serves a population of the most diverse communities in the country.

“We are laying the foundation for patients to have more access to Black clinicians and for Black medical students and graduates to gain community-based experience that they need to be successful in their work,” shares CommonSpirit President and CEO Lloyd H. Dean. “Our initiative also will create a pathway for healthcare organizations across the nation to follow and share our learnings, a vital part of our work.”

Helping to develop Black and other minority physicians by ensuring that a minimum of 300 additional underrepresented providers completes their residency training annually. They will also support a pipeline of students that will be recruited from communities that have a historical provider shortage.

CommonSpirit and MSM will also establish five new regional medical school campuses and graduate medical education programs in at least 10 markets in partnership with CommonSpirit healthcare facilities set to be announced in spring 2021.

“This partnership is the perfect combination of two healthcare organizations that are devoted to the creation and advancement of health equity in underserved communities,” Dr. Montgomery Rice said. “Now, more than ever, we believe society needs a unique partnership like ours that can help show the way to reducing health disparities in vulnerable communities, and, in turn, make all communities stronger.”

A contribution of $21 million in seed funds will be provided through the partnership in the first two years with a goal of spearheading a 10-year, $100 million initiative which will invite the support of philanthropic organizations, individual donors, and industry partners.