David M. Carlisle, MD, PHD

Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science was notified that the University is a recipient of a 2021 Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Award in the category of “Institutional Excellence.” The purpose of the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation Awards is to recognize outstanding leadership in promoting social mission in health professions education. Social mission is defined as activities or initiatives that teach, model, or improve community engagement, diversity, disparities reduction, value-based care, or engagement with the social determinants of health. Social mission enhancement means making programs not only better, but fairer. There are five categories of awards: individual excellence, program excellence, institutional excellence, lifetime achievement and early career rising star.

The award’s citation reads: Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) is a beacon of hope for students who wish to pursue a career in health professions and advocate for those whose voices are silenced. Formed from the ashes of the Watts Riots of 1966, CDU has graduated more than 575 physicians, 1,200 physician assistants, and over 1,000 nursing professionals. With a mission of academic excellence coupled with community responsibility, CDU develops students into change agents who are poised to be champions of health equity.

“We are deeply honored to receive a 2021 Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation award,” said CDU President/CEO Dr. David M. Carlisle. “This award recognizes 53 years of valiant effort by our faculty, students, researchers and graduates as they work for health equity, particularly in under-resourced communities. The Beyond Flexner Alliance shares our vision of a world without health disparities, and is actively working to achieve that goal.”

“We are pleased to honor CDU for their long-standing contributions to the social mission in education, in recognition of their innovative commitment to training health professionals who are dedicated to health equity,” said Claire Pomeroy, MD, MBA, chair, Awards Sub-committee for the Beyond Flexner Alliance, and president, The Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation. “The current coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the importance of their work in caring for the vulnerable and addressing social determinants of health. The values instilled in trainees at CDU position its graduates to lead our nation in the fundamental health care reform and redesign that is so urgently needed.”

“Social mission is one of the hardest things that health professions schools do. It’s often not well rewarded but it will make the greatest difference in the health of communities, and that is why the Beyond Flexner Alliance is so pleased to be able to recognize CDU’s work,” said Candice Chen, MD, MPH, chair, Beyond Flexner Alliance Board of Directors.

Beyond Flexner Alliance (BFA) is a national movement, focused on health equity and training health professionals as agents of more equitable health care. The BFA is located in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. The Milken Institute is committed to excellence in scholarship to advance the health of the populations of our local, national, and global communities, especially for underserved and poor populations.

For more information, visit http://www.cdrewu.edu/, and follow CDU on Facebook, Twitter (@cdrewu), and Instagram (@charlesrdrewu).