In the spirit of sharing good news, I am pleased to introduce a new practice of funder recognition. Each quarter, I’ll be using this space to share highlights of new programs and extend my appreciation to the many organizations who are supporting our work to improve urban health.

The Academy relies on the generosity and investment of individuals and institutions to advance our policies and initiatives. I want to acknowledge and deeply thank our individual and corporate donors and the philanthropic organizations who support our critical efforts to make cities healthier here in New York and around the world, while preserving the history of medicine and public health to inform the future.  

This spring, the Academy has a great deal to celebrate.  Every supporter becomes a partner as we advance our mission. I will share a few examples that are linked to our most recent initiatives.

We have received our first grant from the GE Foundation, which has partnered with the New York State Health Foundation to support the Academy in the development of an evaluation guide and toolkit for Project Echo, an award-winning program that combines technology and medical education to dramatically increase access to badly-needed specialty health care in underserved communities.

In partnership with Mount Sinai’s Tori Mayer, MD, our Institute of Urban Health was awarded a federal grant to assess the impact of Medicaid Health Homes focused on diabetes care in New York City.  We are also working to address the nation’s increasing rate of diabetes through a new project, funded by the New York State Health Foundation, which will explore patient participation in the National Diabetes Prevention Program.  We are also delighted that the Fund for Public Health of New York has just given us a grant to give technical assistance to East Harlem community organizations working to prevent chronic diseases through policy, systems and environmental changes that impact the neighborhood.

On an international scale, we will be helping to assess the extent and complications resulting from the diabetes crisis in China, with the support of the Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute. The project is just one part of our work to prevent non-communicable diseases as we advance global urban health.

This effort was greatly expanded this year at our 2016 International Conference on Urban Health, held April 1-4 in San Francisco. More than 450 participants from 45 countries—academics, policy makers and program leaders, gathered to explore work related to the theme “Place and Health.” This event was made possible by the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Novo Nordisk, the Wellcome Trust, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Novartis Foundation, and Kaiser Permanente.

Finally, we are grateful for the National Endowment for the Humanities’ support for our library’s collection preservation program, safeguarding one of the most significant historical collections in medicine and public health in the world.

With this important support, we are energized and enthusiastic about continuing and expanding our efforts to collaborate with a wide range of experts from a variety of disciplines, policy makers and community members to address the many issues that affect the health and wellbeing of city residents everywhere. Click here for a list of the Academy’s 2015 institutional donors.


Jo Ivey Boufford, MD