NYYU Langone Health has received a $166 million gift from the Bezos family to improve the health and wellness of diverse populations across the NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn community. This gift follows a $25 million philanthropic pledge made in 2017 by the Bezos Family Foundation to support major initiatives to help mothers, children, and families in Brooklyn.
The Bezos Family Foundation was founded in 2000 by Mike and Jackie Bezos (photo above), the parents of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and one of the world’s wealthiest men.
“Four years ago, through the Bezos Family Foundation, we invested in NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn to help support the families of Sunset Park and bring them access to higher-quality care. Today, in the midst of a pandemic that has accentuated the need for more comprehensive health supports, our family wishes to deepen our personal commitment to the community and to NYU Langone Health’s efforts in Brooklyn,” says Mike Bezos.
“I cannot thank the Bezos family strongly enough for their visionary dedication to our communities and for their continued belief in NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn,” says Robert I. Grossman, MD, dean and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “Our work in Brooklyn in particular has been shaped in a profound way by the family’s partnership and by our shared belief and heartfelt conviction that absolutely everyone deserves the highest-quality care and support that helps improve their lives and wellbeing.”
Healthcare leaders and systems across the country have long struggled to identify approaches to embrace two critical dimensions of health improvement: delivering the highest-quality healthcare to all, while also addressing the context of health—the community in which everyday life is lived. Siloed efforts that address these two domains separately have inevitably fallen short of effecting lasting change.
This challenge is particularly evident in poor and underserved communities where access to great medical care is often lacking and where health and wellbeing are further affected by a confluence of social and environmental inequities. There is an unparalleled opportunity at this time to meet this challenge.
The $166 million philanthropic pledge made by the Bezos family will allow NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn and the Family Health Centers at NYU Langone to build on their achievements, and the strengths of these diverse communities, and create a dynamic model for community-wide health improvement in Sunset Park that will address social determinants of health and key drivers of health inequities. Along with the Bezos family, a broad and deep network of community partners, and other key stakeholders, NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn will continue to create a comprehensive health system that not only tackles community and clinical needs, but also develop an interwoven network of care and support.
The Bezos’s have entrusted NYU Langone with this initiative because of the investments and progress the institution has made in Brooklyn. Through its full-asset merger with Lutheran Medical Center in 2016 to create NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn, NYU Langone Health continues to carry forward a rich history of partnership in Sunset Park and greater Brooklyn. NYU Langone Hospital—Brooklyn provides excellent care for the diverse immigrant population of southwest Brooklyn, strengthened by its partnership network with key social service agencies and community-based providers, and both are fundamental to its plans for the future.
“Mike and I have seen firsthand their deep commitment to improving all aspects of healthcare delivery and health equity,” says Jackie Bezos. “The investment that NYU Langone has made to ensure that the vibrant Sunset Park community has access to world-class healthcare has inspired our family to do even more to support Brooklyn.”
The Bezos family also was motivated by NYU Langone’s dedication to community-engaged research and academic rigor as well as its commitment to share the approach and the knowledge it gains with other health systems and communities to aid the collective effort in building more equitable, seamless care.
“High-quality care needs to be woven into the environments where health happens—including in our schools and communities,” says Mike Bezos. “Through its strong partner network and collaborative model, NYU Langone is all in on serving the greater Brooklyn area, and so are we.”