Patriots owner Robert Kraft and The Kraft Family Foundation have donated $50 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to address healthcare disparities and “help even more patients in need of our care.”
The $50 million gift is the largest in support of community health and health equity in the 211-year history of MGH.
The donation will support a permanent Robert K. Kraft Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, addressing health disparities in clinical care at MGH. The gift will also further endow the Kraft Center for Community Health, first established in 2011 thanks to funding from the longtime benefactor.
“On behalf of the hospital, I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Kraft family for this transformative and inspirational act of philanthropy, which is not only the largest of its kind in our history, but also the latest highlight of their already lengthy history of support for MGH,” David Brown, president of MGH, said in a statement.
“We are committed to serving our communities and this incredibly generous gift positions MGH to help even more patients in need of our care,” Brown added.
The permanent Robert K. Kraft Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will be held by the medical director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center at MGH.
Research into sickle cell disease, a serious genetic blood disorder primarily impacting African Americans (as well as Latinos of Caribbean ancestry, and people of Middle Eastern or Indian Subcontinent descent), is historically underfunded, leading to inequitable access to appropriate care for this debilitating, painful disease.
“By creating an endowed position focused on addressing clinical health care disparities, Robert Kraft and the Kraft family are creating important pathways for patients living with sickle cell disease to receive comprehensive medical care which has not traditionally been available to them,” said Joseph Betancourt, Sumner M. Redstone Endowed Chair in Health Equity and senior vice president of equity and community health at MGH.
The $50 million gift will also fund expansion efforts at the Mass General Blood Donor Center, which will be renamed to honor the Kraft family.
Serving more than 12,000 donors annually and accepting donations of whole blood, platelets, and double red cells, the Mass General Blood Donor Center provides 75,000 blood components annually, or about 30% of the blood transfused for patients across all Mass General Brigham hospitals.
“I am proud to live in a city that is home to what I consider the greatest hospitals in the world, led by Mass General,” said Kraft, chairman and CEO of the Kraft Group. “Yet, I’ve always been troubled by healthcare inequities, as I know there are many in nearby communities who don’t have healthcare and can’t access the excellent care others receive here.”
Kraft later added, “With this gift, it is not only our intention to grow and expand the scale of the Kraft Center, but to also help bring increased visibility to the equity issues that exist in therapy treatment and development.”