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Meharry Medical College has been dedicated to addressing healthcare issues that plague underserved communities and the HBCU will be able to further its efforts thanks to a major gift. According to Forbes, the Nashville-based institution received a $34 million endowment.

The gift—which was given to the school as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ $100 million commitment to historically Black colleges and universities over the span of four years—is historic as it marks the largest amount of money the institution has ever received. In an effort to increase the representation of Black doctors in the medical field, the funding will go towards scholarships that will eliminate financial burdens for students pursuing medical degrees. The donation will also support the creation of resources like financial counseling.

Dr. James E. K. Hildreth, who serves as Meharry Medical College’s president, says the endowment will be transformative not only for students but for the communities they serve as well. Nearly 80 percent of students who attend the college commit to furthering their medical careers in communities where healthcare inequities persist in hopes of changing the narrative. “We could not be more honored to receive this gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies or more excited about what it means for the future of minority health care for generations to come,” Dr. Hildreth told News Channel 5. “This gift says to the nation very loudly and very clearly that Black health care matters.”

Other institutions that received funding as part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ initiative include Charles R. Drew University and Howard University College of Medicine.

Several medical programs at HBCUs that are leading initiatives focused on addressing racial health disparities, especially concerning COVID-19, have received funding this year. Earlier this year Morehouse School of Medicine received $40 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health to support its National COVID-19 Resiliency Network.

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