The University of Michigan has announced a $10 million gift from Tadataka and Leslie D. Yamada to establish a Center for Global Equity.
Currently in the planning stages, the center will accelerate efforts across U-M's schools, colleges, institutes, and campuses to address inequities in health in the poorest nations and among disadvantaged populations in middle-income countries. Cross-campus collaborations could include initiatives to strengthen health systems in low-income countries, projects to address social determinants of health, and technical solutions such telehealth tools capable of delivering advanced care in low-income countries. In addition to funding convenings and programs that bring diverse teams together, the center will support pilot studies, collect and provide global health data for use by researchers, and enhance global education programs for students.
Tadataka Yamada served as chief of gastroenterology at the U-M Medical School from 1983 to 1990 and as chair of the Department of Internal Medicine from 1990 to 1996 before leading research at GlaxoSmithKline and Takeda Pharmaceuticals. From 2006 to 2011 he served as executive director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Global Health program, and he is now a venture partner with Frazier Healthcare Partners.
"A great challenge of our time is that millions, mostly children in the poorest countries, die each year unnecessarily from illnesses that can be prevented or treated," said the Yamadas in a statement. "The University of Michigan's outstanding faculty across a broad array of disciplines and culture of working together make it uniquely able to address the challenge. We hope that our gift will help to catalyze action that will make a meaningful contribution toward correcting this unacceptable inequity."