FOSTER CITY, Calif. & ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gilead Sciences, Inc. (Nasdaq: GILD) and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine are working together to develop a real-time, public-facing and comprehensive health equity data platform to help address the impact of COVID-19 and other diseases on communities of color.
The tool will provide the ability to collect and study the demographic disparities associated with COVID-19, with the goal of using this data to help create actionable, evidence-based policy changes to attain health equity and ensure that disproportionately impacted communities receive resources and support. The database will also examine comorbidities associated with COVID-19, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, sickle cell anemia and depression.
COVID-19 data demonstrate that the disease disproportionately impacts racial and ethnic minority groups, particularly Black Americans.
“As we have seen, COVID-19 is magnifying inequities that predate the pandemic,” said Daniel E. Dawes, Director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. “Black Americans, Native Americans, Latinx Americans, Asian and Pacific Islander Americans still contend with neighborhoods that are largely devoid of health-sustaining and health-protective resources, and they still contend with the political determinants or drivers that created, perpetuated and exacerbated these health inequities. We are honored to partner with Gilead to address the root causes of health inequities. Our collective effort intends to create systemic policy change and realize more equitable outcomes for all population groups.”
Gilead will initially provide $1 million for the project and also to support the creation of a Black Health Equity Alliance, composed of national thought leaders, community representatives, scholars, researchers and policymakers, which will help coordinate COVID-19 education, training, information exchange and dissemination, and policy analysis.
“The data we are compiling with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute will provide the insight we need to help build a better healthcare system for the Black community,” said Douglas M. Brooks, Executive Director of Community Engagement at Gilead Sciences. “At the core, the work we do at Gilead is being on the frontlines where the need is greatest, as we’ve done in HIV and hepatitis C in communities across the country. There are many hurdles in the American healthcare system for the Black community to access care and without data like this, we'll be having the same conversation when the next pandemic strikes. We look forward to working with Morehouse School of Medicine to help address these issues.”
Data show that in the United States, the Black community is disproportionately impacted by COVID-19:
- Black people account for nearly 25 percent of the total number of U.S. COVID-19 deaths, although they represent only 13 percent of the country’s total population.
- Compared to white people, Black people have been nearly twice as likely to die from the virus.
- An estimated 60 percent of COVID-19 deaths occurred in disproportionately Black counties.
- Black people are approximately five times more likely to contract COVID-19 than white people.
The data map will go live and be available to the public in the fourth quarter of 2020.
About Satcher Health Leadership Institute
The Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI) aims to be the leading transformational force for health equity in policy, leadership development and research. Rooted in the legacy of its founder, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher, SHLI’s mission is to create systemic change at the intersection of policy and equity by focusing on three priority areas: the political determinants of health, health system transformation, and mental and behavioral health. In conjunction with key strategic partners, SHLI enhances leadership among diverse learners, conducts forward-thinking research on the drivers of health inequities and advances evidence-based policies, all in an effort to contribute to the achievement of health equity for all population groups. Learn more at https://satcherinstitute.org; https://healthequitynetwork.org.
About Morehouse School of Medicine
Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM), located in Atlanta, Ga., exists to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities, increase the diversity of the health professional and scientific workforce and address primary health care through programs in education, research and service, with emphasis on people of color and the underserved urban and rural populations in Georgia, the nation and the world. MSM is among the nation’s leading educators of primary care physicians and has twice been recognized as the top institution among U.S. medical schools for its dedication to the social mission of education. The faculty and alumni are noted in their fields for excellence in teaching, research and public policy, and are known in the community for exceptional, culturally appropriate patient care. Morehouse School of Medicine is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate and master’s degrees.
About Gilead Sciences
Gilead Sciences, Inc. is a research-based biopharmaceutical company that discovers, develops and commercializes innovative medicines in areas of unmet medical need. The company strives to transform and simplify care for people with life-threatening illnesses around the world. Gilead has operations in more than 35 countries worldwide, with headquarters in Foster City, California.