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Health Equity

Direct Relief Announces $10 Million Commitment from AbbVie to Support Reduction in Health Care Disparities for Black Communities

Medicines essential for ICU care of Covid-19 patients are prepped for shipment in Direct Relief's warehouse. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)
Medicines essential for ICU care of Covid-19 patients are prepped for shipment in Direct Relief's warehouse. (Lara Cooper/Direct Relief)

Direct Relief today announced it has received a $10 million donation from AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, as part of AbbVie’s broader $50 million, five-year investment in philanthropic partners to support underserved Black communities across the United States.

AbbVie’s commitment to help launch Direct Relief’s new Fund for Health Equity will support Direct Relief’s efforts to expand and improve healthcare services offered by health centers, clinics, and other local organizations with the long-term goal of strengthening health services for Black Communities across the nation.

“AbbVie’s extraordinary philanthropic commitment announced today will provide financial support to expand access and strengthen health services in Black communities through locally run nonprofits including federally qualified community health centers, free and charitable clinics, and other community based efforts,” said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. “These locally run organizations understand better than anyone both the challenges that exist and what works, and in the case of community health centers, have demonstrated for more than 50 years unmatched commitment and provably effective results. But, private philanthropic support has been very limited, which is why AbbVie’s recognition and strong leadership is so deeply appreciated and so important. It will allow these organizations to do more of what they do best and help redress chronic disparities in health that the COVID-19 pandemic has tragically highlighted and made worse.”

“Direct Relief’s focus on medically underserved Black communities across the U.S. will make a long-term, measurable impact on people’s lives,” said Karen Hale, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, AbbVie. “This targeted funding and its concurrent evaluation will allow for continuous improvement and innovation of quality health care for Black communities, and we hope this donation serves as a catalyst for future investments.”

Among other activities in recent months, Direct Relief has disbursed over $35 million in financial support to community health centers and free & charitable clinics in communities of color that have been disproportionately affected and particularly hard-hit by COVID-19.

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