UNCF Partners with AbbVie to Support Health, Education Equity in Underserved Black Communities

Media Contact

Monique LeNoir UNCF Communications 202.810.0231 monique.lenoir@uncf.org

UNCF today announced a partnership with AbbVie, a research-based global biopharmaceutical company, for $10 million to launch the UNCF Healthcare Workforce Diversity Program, a comprehensive HBCU (historically black colleges and universities) healthcare professionals pipeline program to prepare and motivate Black individuals to pursue a wide variety of careers in healthcare. By having a diverse healthcare workforce, the U.S. will be improving access to care in racial and ethnic minority communities, ensuring greater patient choice and satisfaction and improving the quality of healthcare for vulnerable people.

abbvie logo “We thank AbbVie for this significant investment in better futures for Black and HBCU students,” said Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF. “This gift is very important to all Americans, but particularly Black Americans, as we face the current COVID-19 crisis. We now realize we need as many new, diverse healthcare professionals as possible. Students who will benefit from this new program will be our future pandemic front liners. America needs their expertise, especially because this virus has shed light on the gaps in our public health system by hitting the African American and other communities of color so hard.”

The UNCF Healthcare Workforce Diversity Program aims to address the racial imbalance in the healthcare workforce that can potentially exacerbate health disparities in Black communities. The program will prepare and motivate a minimum of 800 Black individuals pursuing a wide variety of careers in healthcare.  Scholarship, academic and career development support will be given to students who are interested in a career in healthcare, but who might otherwise not have an opportunity to go beyond their high school diploma to earn a credential with labor market value. AbbVie employees will volunteer to provide mentorship, career development and support to students in the program

“Supporting the launch of UNCF’s new program will provide critical scholarships and wraparound support for students pursuing health care careers and creating a path for those who never believed a healthcare career was a possibility,“ said Karen Hale, vice president and deputy general counsel, AbbVie. “UNCF’s program will help increase access to more culturally competent care through a more equitable and diverse workforce in health care.”

As the U.S. population continues to rapidly grow and diversify, the health care system needs to serve more patients from a wide range of racial and ethnic backgrounds. Training and attracting diverse health care service providers is critical to meeting the health care needs of the country.


About UNCF
UNCF (United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically Black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding nearly 20% of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized trademark, A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.