New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family’s foundation donated $50 million to Massachusetts General Hospital, the institution announced Wednesday. The gift is the largest donation in the 211-year history of the hospital.
Kraft’s involvement in healthcare philanthropy didn’t begin this year. In 2011, he helped establish the Kraft Center for Community Health with the goal of expanding access to high quality and cost effective health care for disadvantaged individuals and families. In the official press release, the hospital called Kraft’s latest donation “revolutionary.”
“The gift is the largest in support of community health and health equity in the history of Mass General and more than doubles the previous commitments of the Kraft family to ensuring the highest quality equitable health care is available in all the communities served by Mass General,” the hospital’s statement read.
The money will serve a few different purposes. It will continue to help support the Kraft Center for Community Health and allow the hospital to expand its blood donation facility. There will also be a permanent “Robert K. Kraft Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” who will be in charge of addressing health disparities in clinical care. The position will be held by the medical director of the Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Treatment Center. That center, the hospital said, focuses on researching a serious genetic blood disorder that has primarily impacted minorities and has been “historically underfunded.”
Kraft said in a statement that while he is pleased with what he sees from hospitals in Massachusetts, he knows there is still a lot more work to be done.
“I am proud to live in a city that is home to what I consider the greatest hospitals in the world, led by Mass General,” he said in a statement. “Yet, I’ve always been troubled by healthcare inequities, as I know there are many in nearby communities who don’t have healthcare and can’t access the excellent care others receive here.
“With this gift, it is not only our intention to grow and expand the scale of the Kraft Center, but to also help bring increased visibility to the equity issues that exist in therapy treatment and development.”