Gift for Hopkins: Bill Gates' foundation: Grant spotlights value of worldwide public health initiatives.


ALTHOUGH THE $2.25 million grant from a charity controlled by Microsoft Corp.founder Bill Gates isn't the largest gift to Johns Hopkins' School of Hygiene and Public Health from a private source, the contribution is significant: It will support public health initiatives that have made Hopkins revered in corners of the world where people have never heard of Baltimore.

The Gates gift, spread over five years, will fund a Family Planning Leadership Education Institute to help health care leaders in developing countries design, administer and evaluate their own family planning efforts. Too often, family planning aid pays for supplies and day-to-day expenses, with too little attention given to training the leaders who must make these programs work. The new institute fills that gap.

Mr. Gates' bequest provides a boost for family planning programs that preserve the health of millions of women and infants. Along with Michael R. Bloomberg's $20 million gift to the school's endowment in 1995, it is recognition that often-unsung efforts by public health workers can make a big difference in the survival, health and productivity of people living in developing countries.

Using Vitamin A to prevent nutritional blindness, eradicating smallpox, devising ways to deal with health problems ranging from the spread of AIDS to the rise in injuries from gun violence -- all these are ways in which Johns Hopkins experts have been at the cutting edge. It is good that donors with deep pockets are beginning to recognize the lasting value of those contributions. Preakness parties

Pub Date: 5/20/97

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