New $10 Million Gift Enables Brookings to Explore Novel Approaches to Health Care Reform

WASHINGTON, DC, May 4, 2012 – The Brookings Institution announced today that its Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform will explore new and novel approaches to health care reform through the creation of the Irene Diamond Fund for Health Care Innovation and the Irene Diamond Fellowship for Public Health Leadership. This new effort is made possible by a five-year, $10 million gift from the Irene Diamond Fund, Inc. The Diamond Fund's contribution will help advance the Engelberg Center's efforts to identify, highlight, and expand approaches to reform health policies to reduce costs while improving care.

“The Irene Diamond Fund’s investment in Brookings comes at a crucial time in our national debate over how best to protect the health of citizenry and our economy,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution. “Moreover, that debate will be with us for years to come. The U.S. health care system needs reform, and there’s no better way to ensure that it’s made more effective than with the kind of careful thought and systematic, evidence-based research to which Brookings and the Engelberg Center are committed.”

Engelberg Center Director Dr. Mark McClellan added, "The resources provided by the Diamond Fund enable us to explore new ways to improve health care delivery and enhance health care financing policies to support those delivery reforms. The Public Health Fellowship will help focus these efforts, matching up health care reform with key public health goals such as promoting healthier behaviors and preventing illnesses and disease complications."

"To succeed in 'bending the curve' of health care costs, we’ll need a concerted effort by policymakers, policy researchers, and practitioners in the field. The Irene Diamond Fund's gift to Brookings will help us do exactly that," Dr. McClellan added.

The Irene Diamond Fund was created and funded by noted philanthropists Irene and Aaron Diamond (who are both deceased). The Fund supports many charitable causes and to date has distributed more than $400 million in advancement of public health and public policy, including AIDS prevention and research, human rights, and the performing arts.

"Irene Diamond cared passionately about achieving real impact with her giving," said Peter Kimmelman, treasurer and a director of the Irene Diamond Fund. "We at the Diamond Fund are thrilled to make this grant; it ensures the continuation of the Engelberg Center's essential work in health care reform." He added, "It is hard to imagine a more critically important issue in our nation's future and this is a fitting legacy for her lifelong dedication to improving people's health and their lives."