News & Announcements
MacKenzie Scott Makes Transformative $12 Million Gift to NMF to Advance Health Equity
Scott’s philanthropic investment will accelerate National Medical Fellowships’ work developing diverse leaders committed to dismantling systemic and structural racism in health care.
Alexandria, VA – National Medical Fellowships (NMF) announced that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott has made a $12 million gift to the organization, which is the single largest gift in the organization’s 76-year history.
NMF has worked for decades to build health equity by providing scholarships to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) medical students. In recent years, it has extended its support to scholars seeking to serve in other critical roles in the health care workforce.
NMF is the only organization devoted exclusively to this mission and centering its work on the health-wealth gap. The Education Data Initiative reported in 2021 that the average medical school student debt was $215,900, but it can soar to as high as $300,000, and these figures do not account for premedical education debt. Economic disparities create conditions where more student underrepresented in medicine—Black, Indigenous, and Latino students—graduate with debt and at higher levels. NMF is working to lower the barriers to medical education and increase the diversity of the health care workforce to ensure all communities receive equitable care.
“MacKenzie Scott’s transformative philanthropic investment is the jet fuel NMF needs to take bold and decisive action to build a more equitable and healthy future for communities of color in the U.S.,” says NMF President and CEO Michellene Davis, Esq. “This gift is particularly timely as the COVID-19 pandemic takes a disproportionate toll on communities of color and shines a spotlight on the human cost of health inequity. NMF will use this unrestricted gift to build its endowment and accelerate our work to invest in the development of BIPOC health care leaders who are laser-focused on eliminating unnecessary and preventable health disparities experienced by communities of color.”
The allocation of funds will be determined by NMF’s president and CEO and board of directors in the coming weeks.
“NMF is deeply grateful that MacKenzie Scott has recognized the impactful work we have been doing for more than 75 years to advance health equity by providing scholarships to students underrepresented in medicine” says NMF Board of Directors Chair and alumna Sandra B. Nichols, MD, FAAFP, MHCDS, MS. “This gift sends a message to these students who are interested in pursuing a career in health care. It tells them they are needed, welcomed, and will be supported as they work to attain their degrees so they may transform the health care system into one that serves all communities equally.”
About National Medical Fellowships
National Medical Fellowships, Inc. is the only private national organization devoted to providing scholarships and support specifically for students underrepresented in medicine and the health professions. Over the course of its history, NMF has provided over $45 million to more than 32,000 students and aspiring health professionals. NMF was founded in 1946 and was one of the first diversity organizations in the U.S.