Margolis Family Foundation Gives $10 Million to Duke University to Advance Health Policy Across U.S., World

The Robert and Lisa Margolis Family Foundation has given $10 million to Duke University to leverage and extend the work of the Margolis Center for Health Policy.

A nationally and internationally recognized leader in health policy, the center was founded in 2016 through an initial gift from the family foundation established by Robert J. Margolis M.D.’71, H.S.’72 and Lisa Margolis. This new gift will further the mission of the center to improve health, health equity and the value of health care through practical policy analysis.

“Bob and Lisa’s visionary leadership and generous support have enabled Duke to become a leader in shaping national health policy,” said Duke University President Vincent E. Price. “We are very grateful for this gift, which will advance the Margolis Center’s work to improve health and health equity through innovative policy solutions.”

The new $10 million gift will create a permanent, unrestricted endowment for the center that will support its efforts to educate the next generation of health care leaders, advance health care transformation and further biomedical innovation. The gift is also meant to encourage other donors to help expand support for the center and further build its endowment. As an incentive to donors, each new endowment established for the center will be matched by the Margolis Family Foundation.

With guidance from Duke’s Emeritus Chancellor for Health Affairs Eugene Washington, Duke’s Interim Provost Jennifer Francis and a board of advisors from the legislative, biomedical and health care sectors, Duke-Margolis leads interdisciplinary health policy research, conducts timely policy studies, supports innovative education, fosters cross-campus collaborations and translates research into policy and more as it seeks to transform health care throughout the world.

“The center brings together the diverse perspectives of more than 80 Duke faculty members and researchers across medicine, population health, law, public policy, global health and business,” Washington said, “And that committed interdisciplinary focus ensures the very best and brightest can collaborate with leaders in the public sector and across industries on innovative health policy solutions that benefit the good of society.”

Duke-Margolis has built a trusted reputation for its evidence-based health policy research, analysis and recommendations that state and national leaders in the public and private sectors regularly and actively seek out to address the health care challenges facing their communities and the nation.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Duke-Margolis led in pioneering health policy and public health research that guided federal and state leaders toward the overall pandemic response and, importantly, more equitable and accessible COVID-testing, vaccine distribution and COVID treatments.

“Duke-Margolis inspires all of us across Duke University with its visible reminder of what good policy can do in our world,” said Mary Klotman, executive vice president for health affairs for the university and dean of Duke University School of Medicine. “Throughout the pandemic, the speed at which Duke faculty, scholars and practitioners–both here on our Durham campus and up in our Washington, D.C., office–were able to put their heads together and advance new practices and policies that immediately improved and saved lives—that was truly extraordinary.”

Mark McClellan, founding director of the center, noted that this gift came at a critical time for the Duke-Margolis Center.

“In our initial years, Duke-Margolis demonstrated how drawing on a wide range of academic disciplines and expertise can inform and advance effective health reforms—the plans, decisions and actions undertaken to advance health care and population health goals,” he said. “Now, Duke and Duke-Margolis are committed to leveraging our approach and the breadth of Duke expertise and perspectives into additional research and educational programming, to advancing evidence-based health policy to achieving better health and greater health equity at the state, national and global levels.”

Founding donor Robert Margolis said that it was his family’s hope that the $10 million gift will inspire other donors to make their own endowment gifts to support the mission of the center and advance key areas of health reform that matter to them.

“Creating a world where everyone has access to equitable, affordable and high-quality health care that enables them to thrive is a dream we hope to see in our own lifetime. We know we can make progress together,” he said. “We invite our Duke community of alumni, donors and friends to work with us to make this a reality.”

TAGS: Gift Announcement