Nemours Children’s Health today announced a transformative $25 million gift from Orlando philanthropist Alan H. Ginsburg and the Ginsburg Family Foundation to create the Ginsburg Institute for Health Equity at Nemours Children’s Health. This first-of-its-kind initiative will advance health equity for children in medically underserved communities by building a world-class interdisciplinary program that goes beyond medicine alone.
“Establishing the Ginsburg Institute for Health Equity at Nemours Children’s Health is a turning point in addressing the profound health disparities that have hurt our nation’s children for decades,” said R. Lawrence Moss, MD, FACS, FAAP, President and CEO of Nemours Children’s Health. “Part think-tank, part health-pilot incubator, the Ginsburg Institute will spur discovery and innovation to expand the health and well-being of children everywhere.”
The Ginsburg Institute will advance Nemours Children’s mission to provide the leadership, institutions, and services not readily available to improve children’s health. The Ginsburg Institute will further this mission by incubating new and innovative programs, engaging in national policy discussions, and providing intellectual and practical leadership through clinical care, research, education, and quality improvement initiatives.
The new Ginsburg Institute will bring together a team of world-renowned pediatric specialists, behavioral economists, health services researchers, environmental health experts, data informaticists, and other professionals. Research and policy findings will be shared through local, national, and international publications and forums to address the underlying social determinants of health, and ultimately change how health for children is achieved.
“The very DNA of Nemours Children’s Health is different— everything from the leadership’s bold strategy to redefine children’s health to their history of prevention and advocacy on behalf of children,” said Alan H. Ginsburg, Chairman of the Ginsburg Family Foundation. “Nemours Children’s is uniquely positioned to lead the nation’s preeminent movement to advance health equity for children thanks to the generosity and foresight of Alfred and Jessie duPont who created the Alfred I. duPont Charitable Trust that provides dedicated and generous support to Nemours.”
“This movement is about creating a better world for all our children and encouraging others with their own philanthropy. In the years ahead, I have every confidence that we will look on this moment with a great sense of pride knowing we made a lasting impact on children now, and for generations to come,” Ginsburg added.
Preventable, noncommunicable conditions such as asthma, obesity, diabetes, and behavioral disorders represent an enormous proportion of rising health care costs for children. The social determinants underlying these illnesses in children are often poorly understood, especially in marginalized communities. The Ginsburg Institute will centralize efforts to radically rethink and remedy these problems with a goal of collaborating with government, community, and business leaders.
This approach aligns with Nemours Children’s focus on a “pay-for-health” model to promote health by building community relationships and infrastructure, tackling risk factors, and allocating resources for prevention, rather than just trying to fight the symptoms of disease through procedures and interventions. This marks a shift from the current sickness-and-disease-based model that is not only expensive, but deeply unsustainable.
Nemours Children’s currently collaborates with schools, local agencies, and community organizations across Florida to support initiatives that create health in areas such as nutrition, physical activity, flu shots, and literacy screenings. “The missing piece has been a think-tank and activating institute to test new ideas through trials grounded in evidenced-based data-driven research,” Moss said.
“By treating the root cause of illness, our ultimate goal is to eliminate avoidable health issues and keep children healthy in the first place,” said Kara Odom Walker, MD, MPH, MSHS, Executive Vice President and Chief Population Health Officer of Nemours Children’s Health. “Addressing these health disparities will allow children to achieve their full potential and live healthier, more productive lives without ever coming through our doors.”
The Ginsburg Institute will identify and remove barriers to health in medically underserved areas and collaborate to design and implement innovative projects that enhance population health. The mission will also be to prepare a health care and scientific workforce to deploy resources into diverse communities, locally and globally.
Among the first expected outcomes is the development of a scalable research-to-practice model that can be replicated in Florida communities and scaled nationally, creating robust academic partnerships with Nemours Children’s. The Ginsburg Institute will also bolster existing programs in Florida such as Nemours Children’s community-based mobile medical units and will expand existing efforts to deliver direct services to communities through telehealth platforms.
“This momentous gift sets the stage for a myriad of philanthropic opportunities rooted in discipline-specific initiatives to improve health equity across the United States,” said James P. Digan, President of the Nemours Children’s Health Alliance. “But this is just the beginning of a broader, much bolder movement to fundamentally alter the way we keep children healthy in the places they live, learn and play.”
Nemours Children’s Health is one of the nation’s largest multistate pediatric health systems, including two freestanding children’s hospitals and a network of nearly 75 primary and specialty care practices. Nemours Children seeks to transform the health of children by adopting a holistic health model that utilizes innovative, safe, and high-quality care, while also caring for the health of the whole child beyond medicine. Nemours Children’s also powers the world’s most-visited website for information on the health of children and teens, KidsHealth.org.
The Nemours Foundation, established through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, provides pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy, and prevention programs to the children, families and communities it serves.
The Ginsburg Family Foundation was established in 2003 for the purpose of focusing their philanthropic efforts in the Central Florida community. Founded by philanthropist and real estate developer Alan Ginsburg, the Foundation supports organizations which celebrate diversity, improve the quality of life for citizens, and take practical steps to bring Floridians together.
Ginsburg also donated $10M toward the construction of the new world-class, 40,000-square-foot Holocaust Museum for Hope & Humanity, which will be located on a lakefront site in downtown Orlando. The Alan Ginsburg Family Foundation donated $20 million to Florida Hospital to build a 15-story, 440-bed Ginsburg Tower. He also donated to University of Central Florida College of Medicine $5 million to establish the Ginsburg Center for Inclusion and Community Engagement and $4 million to the campus library.
Ginsburg also made a $5 million for a scholarship endowment at Rollins College, and $2 million to the Hillel Foundation for a new student facility which is shared with the Catholic Campus Ministry Center.
Ginsburg received the Benemerenti Medal by Pope Francis for developing the interfaith project. He is also a major donor to Jewish causes including the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando especially toward bolstering Jewish Identity and outreach.