The Fund supports networks of state health policy decision makers to help identify, inspire, and inform policy leaders.
The Milbank Memorial Fund supports two state leadership programs for legislative and executive branch state government officials committed to improving population health.
The Fund identifies and shares policy ideas and analysis to advance state health leadership, strong primary care, healthy aging, and sustainable health care costs.
Keep up with news and updates from the Milbank Memorial Fund. And read the latest blogs from our thought leaders, including Fund President Christopher F. Koller.
The Fund publishes The Milbank Quarterly, as well as reports, issues briefs, and case studies on topics important to health policy leaders.
The Milbank Memorial Fund is is a foundation that works to improve population health and health equity.
The Board of Directors and staff of the Milbank Memorial Fund acknowledge and affirm that laws, practices, and societal norms that have categorized people by race — a concept with no biological basis — have harmed people of color in general and Black populations in particular for centuries in the United States. They have resulted in inadequate access to and use of high-quality health care, differences in patient experience, disparate health outcomes, and a medical and health care system that for many is not worthy of trust.
We believe that addressing inequities in health status, access to care, and outcomes of care that continue to harm historically underresourced and marginalized groups in society is fundamental to improving population health. Moreover, it is not possible to achieve health equity for all populations without addressing broader social inequities that disadvantage people of color in general and Black populations in particular. These inequities in education, employment, housing, and other social and environmental factors directly influence population health.
The Milbank Memorial Fund has a 117-year-history of making advances toward its stated mission of improving population health. Yet, like many organizations, we must acknowledge all our history.
Some of our organization’s own actions have reinforced and perpetuated the systemic racism that contributes to fundamental health inequities in this country. Historically, our efforts to improve population health in our programming and publications have not prioritized improving health equity. The racial and ethnic composition of our state health policymaker networks has not resembled the populations they serve. In our organization, disproportionate numbers of staff members, board members, partners, and network members, as well as the authors and reviewers of our publications and The Milbank Quarterly, have been white and socioeconomically advantaged.
Most egregiously, the Fund played a role in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) Syphilis Study at Tuskegee and Macon County, Alabama. Specifically, from 1935 to 1972, the Fund paid for services associated with the burials of men who died over the course of the study when their families agreed to autopsies. We acknowledge our role in creating this legacy. We deeply regret and apologize for the harm caused to study participants, their descendants, and all those affected by the study, and for taking five decades to acknowledge our involvement publicly.
This legacy is not in keeping with our mission, vision, and values, and it compels certain obligations. In all our work we must:
In light of our obligations, we are committed to pursuing strategies in our own organization, our programming, and our publications that address ongoing health inequities among people of color in general and Black populations in particular.
Specifically, we have undertaken or committed to the following actions:
The following Milbank Memorial Fund initiatives, which are already underway, reflect these commitments.
State health policy leadership programs
Population health programs
Get the Latest from the Milbank Memorial Fund
An endowed operating foundation that engages in nonpartisan analysis, collaboration, and communication, with an emphasis on state health policy.