Medtronic Philanthropy Launches Chronic Disease Care Initiative

Medtronic Philanthropy, the charitable arm of medical technology company Medtronic, has announced the launch of a five-year, $17 million initiative to support community-based demonstration projects aimed at improving the management of chronic, non-communicable diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Through its HealthRise initiative, Medtronic initially will focus its efforts in selected communities in Brazil, India, South Africa, and the United States, starting with comprehensive community health system assessments led by public health experts, community-based organizations, and local leaders to identify gaps and barriers within local health systems for underserved populations. To that end, Medtronic Philanthropy will partner with Abt Associates, which will coordinate the overall global program and each country-level program, and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, which will monitor and evaluate individual projects at the community level.

The assessments will be followed by grants to local organizations working to improve community-based healthcare services for people living with chronic diseases. Among other things, the funds will be used to recruit and train healthcare workers, conduct patient empowerment and education programs, and support local stakeholder engagement and policy efforts to advance access to health care.

"We know that global change in healthcare access begins on the frontlines of villages, towns, and cities all around the world," said Medtronic Philanthropy president Jacob A. Gayle. "We expect that, by convening experts and making resources more readily available, we will help fill a real need in the effort to strengthen health systems so that people at risk for, or living with a chronic disease, can live longer, higher-quality lives."