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Awards, Honors, and Grants


June 30, 2022

Brigham Awarded $16M Helmsley Charitable Trust Grant to Address Global Burden of Non-Communicable Diseases

Brigham and Women’s Hospital received a $16 million, three-year grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust to expand access to care for severe chronic diseases — including type 1 diabetes, rheumatic heart disease, cardiomyopathies, and sickle cell disease — in eight low-income and lower-middle-income countries. With leadership by Gene Bukhman, MD, PhD, of the Division of Global Health Equity and the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, this funding supports the launch of the Center for Integration Science in Global Health Equity at the Brigham.

As part of this work, Bukhman and his colleagues will work to expand strategies used in PEN-Plus — an integrated service delivery model that builds on the World Health Organization's Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease Interventions (PEN) to enable nurses and other mid-level providers to deliver services such as echocardiography, insulin administration, hydroxyurea, anticoagulation and heart failure management at intermediate-level facilities such as district hospitals in resource-poor, rural areas. Helmsley supported an earlier phase of work led by the Brigham through the NCDI Poverty Network and a first wave of PEN-Plus expansion through an $8 million grant in 2020.

PEN-Plus aims to enable an additional one million of the world's poorest children and young adults to receive high-quality care for severe chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) by 2030. As of 2022, 14 lower-income countries will be initiating or expanding PEN-Plus strategies.

Bukhman is a cardiologist and medical anthropologist whose research has focused on the burden of NCDs and injuries among those living in extreme poverty for the past 15 years. He is founding director of the Program in Global NCDs and Social Change at Harvard Medical School and is the senior health and policy advisor on NCDs at Partners In Health. He was the lead author of the 2020 report of the Lancet Commission on Reframing Noncommunicable Diseases and Injuries for the Poorest Billion. He is now the co-chair of the steering committee of the 21-country NCDI Poverty Network working to implement the Commission’s recommendations.

The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the United States and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. The Helmsley Type 1 Diabetes Program is one of the largest private foundation funders of type 1 diabetes in the nation focused on understanding the disease, developing better treatments and improving care and access in the United States and low- and middle-income countries. For more information on Helmsley and its programs, visit helmsleytrust.org.