Duke Endowment’s Ambitious New Health Collaborative

The Duke Endowment’s health giving has always been, how shall we say, diverse. It’s dabbled in genetic medicine, telepsychiatry, and health access and policy. It took a big hit during the Recession, and is still in the process of bouncing back, but in the meantime, it’s steadily made interesting, though modest grants in a variety of different health-related fields.

And this latest grant could be a sign that the Duke Endowment’s fortunes are perking up. Just this week, Health Sciences South Carolina announced a $15.3 million grant from the Duke Endowment to create a dual-state health collaborative in partnership with the health systems and medical schools of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Duke University, and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

A collaborative. Get it? Its goal is to bring together data on a range of conditions, including diabetes, stroke, obesity, and heart disease, with the goal of improving the health and well-being of individuals in both states. The parties involved already have great infrastructure, and so this project will capitalize on that, making statistical analytics available to everyone involved and using the data to drive change. HSSC-supported organizations involved in the collaborative include Clemson University, the Medical University of South Carolina, and the University of South Carolina, as well as AnMed Health, Greenville Health System, McLeod Health, MUSC Health,Palmetto Health, and Self Regional and Spartanburg Regional healthcare systems.

The grant is the third multimillion-dollar grant made to HSSC by the foundation, following awards of $21 million in 2006 and $11.25 million in 2011.

"Health is our most precious commodity, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and obesity threaten not just health but also the economic and social health of North Carolina and South Carolina," said Minor Shaw, chair of the Duke Endowment's board of trustees. "These problems are solvable, which is why the Duke Endowment has made a third investment in HSSC to further efforts to convene the best and brightest researchers, clinicians, and strategic partners across the two states. This grant empowers them with the technical infrastructure, information, and analytical resources needed to identify and implement meaningful solutions to the health-related challenges facing us today."