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Lilly Endowment Awards $2.5 Million for Indiana University Center for Global Health

Joe Mamlin, MD
Professor Emeritus of Medicine

Photo by Tyagan Miller

Joe Mamlin, MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine Photo by Tyagan Miller

Matching funds committed through the IUPUI IMPACT fundraising campaign bolster the grant, bringing its total value to $4 million. The Indiana University Foundation will invest and manage the funds.

AMPATH— the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare—is the cornerstone of the Center for Global Health. It is a collaboration between Moi University School of Medicine and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya, and a consortium of North American academic institutions led by the IU School of Medicine. AMPATH has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and the U.S. government recognized its comprehensive nature and effectiveness by awarding IU a coveted $65 million, five-year grant to help fund it.

“The Indiana University Center for Global Health and AMPATH exemplify the international impact of Indiana University and the tremendous compassion of Hoosiers, who have lent their time, talent and funds to bring life-saving medical services to underserved areas in the world,” said Indiana University President Michael McRobbie. “This extraordinary commitment from Lilly Endowment will allow us to expand the scope of the program and further demonstrate to the world that our university and state are leaders in global health. This international program has served as a catalyst for bringing far-reaching educational opportunities to IU students and faculty for more than 20 years.”

“The vision, dedication and accomplishments of the leaders and staff of the AMPATH initiatives in Kenya are truly exceptional. While offering significant humanitarian relief for people in abject need in Kenya, these initiatives also provide outstanding educational and research opportunities for medical school students and faculty, which enhance the programs and reputation of the IU School of Medicine,” said Lilly Endowment president, N. Clay Robbins. “We are amazed at the many complementary charitable efforts inspired by AMPATH that are supported by myriad congregations and thousands of individuals throughout our community. Lilly Endowment is pleased to help build the organizational infrastructure at IU that is required to sustain and expand these impressive initiatives.”

For the past 20 years IU students, residents and faculty have traveled to Kenya to enhance their understanding of medicine and improve their ability to care for patients. Teaching and learning in a country with limited resources provide unique challenges and opportunities. As a result, the program has attracted the interest of high-caliber medical students and other trainees from throughout the nation and served as a helpful recruiting tool for the School of Medicine.

Also, the Indianapolis community has embraced IU’s work with AMPATH through the involvement of churches and faith groups, the legal community, and thousands of volunteers and supporters.  

Beyond providing educational and humanitarian opportunities, AMPATH created and implemented in Kenya one of the largest and most effective HIV treatment and control systems in the world. This partnership has evolved to include care for individuals with cancer and diabetes, life-saving services to mothers and babies, groundbreaking health research, and educational opportunities for students and health-care providers on both continents.

“The Center for Global Health aims to improve access to health care for all people,” says Robert Einterz, M.D., associate dean for global health at the IU School of Medicine and director of the IU Center for Global Health. “The generous grant from Lilly Endowment strengthens Indiana University’s capacity to achieve that aim in Kenya and Indiana, and it enhances IU’s prestige as a leader in global health. Lessons learned in Kenya are relevant to the development of more effective health-care services in Indiana.”

The endowed chair established through the grant will fund the work of the program’s field director in Kenya, a position now held by Joseph Mamlin, M.D. It will be named the Stephanie and Craig Brater Chair in Global Health in honor of IU medical school Dean Craig Brater and his wife, Stephanie. The program has held special meaning to the Braters over the years, and they have been among its most ardent champions.

“I cannot imagine a dean of any U.S. medical school more engaged, supportive and, indeed, a part of the IU work in Kenya than Dean Brater,” said Dr. Mamlin. “By honoring Dr. Brater and his wife, Stephanie, with this gift, Lilly Endowment highlights the potential relationship between visionary academic leadership in the U.S., passion and commitment by individuals, and improved access to health care throughout the world.”

Dr. Mamlin has worked in Kenya full-time since his retirement from the IU School of Medicine in 2000. He was the first chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine at the IU School of Medicine and one of the initial visionaries and architects of the network of community health centers in Indianapolis that are now part of Eskenazi Health. Dr. Mamlin has a distinguished record of local and global service spanning more than four decades. He and a select group of IU and Kenyan physicians created the initial IU-Moi University partnership 23 years ago.

The endowed chair will provide permanent funding to ensure that the work begun by Dr. Mamlin will continue for years to come.

“The commitment of Lilly Endowment to excellence is matched only by its generosity,” said IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz. “The Endowment’s support raises our expectations and stimulates others to support our work. Thanks to supporters like Lilly Endowment, my colleagues make an impact – every day.”

For more information on the IU Center for Global Health, see http://globalhealth.iu.edu and for more information on AMPATH see http://www.ampathkenya.org. For more information on the IUPUI IMPACT campaign, see http://impactcampaign.iupui.edu/index.html.