Examining the systemic nature of the disparities that exist in healthcare today reminds us they are a product of history. These disparities developed over generations, and it will require a long-term effort to create a more equitable future.
Beacon of Hope was established to do just that. The innovative healthcare collaboration, launched by Novartis and the Novartis US Foundation with many historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and other industry peers and collaborators, has a visionary goal: to address long-standing health and education inequities and create greater diversity, equity, inclusion and trust across the healthcare ecosystem.
The ambitious US program stands apart from past gestures toward health equity because it pairs long-term commitment with open-minded collaboration and co-creation – the ‘beating heart’ of Beacon of Hope. Rather than offering an isolated, prescriptive push, it promotes partnership and supplies resources that make a difference.
Striving to be a Catalyst for Change
In October, Beacon of Hope marked a milestone with the first annual Convening Event in Washington DC, bringing together representatives from industry collaborators (including Alnylam, Amgen, Merck, Sanofi, Advarra and BeeKeeperAI), students, leaders from the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the Global Black Economic Forum, Morehouse School of Medicine, and the HBCUs pivotal to the program’s success.
With Beacon of Hope in the early stages of the journey, the Convening Event celebrated our progress – such as the Centers of Excellence now in place at four HBCU medical schools – while focusing on the significant work that still lies ahead.
“This is going to be a long road, there's no question. And that's why we're committed,” said Vas Narasimhan, Novartis CEO. “Fundamentally for Novartis, if we want to reimagine medicine, we have to address these issues systematically.”
Although the mission of Beacon of Hope is bold, our partners expressed an unwavering belief that we can achieve our goals through consistent action, dedication and focus.