Atrium Health commits $22.8M to racial equity improvements

Charlotte, N.C.-based Atrium Health is partnering with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles' racial equity initiative and pledging $22.8 million to help eliminate health disparities in the area.

The pledge is part of Atrium Health's "for all" mission, which aims to improve healthcare in underserved communities, according to a Nov. 1 press release emailed to Becker's by the health system.

The initiative is a five-year program with four main focus areas: investment in six underserved neighborhoods in Charlotte, enhancements to Johnson C. Smith University, digital improvements and opportunities for leaders of color in businesses.

Atrium Health's money will go toward building new health clinics in two of the six defined neighborhoods. The health system is also contributing $3 million to support Charlotte-based JCSU, a historically Black private university. The money will provide scholarships to students pursuing careers in healthcare, and Atrium Health will build and operate a health center on campus.

Wake Forest School of Medicine will also work with JCSU to build a premedical curriculum.

"Together, we are one step closer to achieving our collective vision of a world — and of a city — where racial, social and health equity is the norm," CEO Eugene Woods said.

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