October 17, 2019

$10M gift from Tadataka and Leslie Yamada will fuel U-M efforts to improve the world’s health

New U-M Center for Global Health Equity will empower faculty and students to seek new ways to address health needs of the disadvantaged

Dr. Tadataka Yamada and Leslie Yamada

For decades, University of Michigan teams have tackled some of the world’s toughest health challenges through research, education and global partnership.

Now, thanks to a new $10 million gift from Tadataka Yamada, M.D. and Leslie D. Yamada, those teams will have new resources to think even bigger, work together and with global partners more effectively, and make a greater positive impact on the health and health care of people with the greatest need worldwide.

The new gift will fuel a new U-M Center for Global Health Equity.

Currently in the planning stages, the center will accelerate work by faculty, staff and students from across U-M’s schools, colleges, institutes and all three campuses to address inequities in health in the poorest nations, and in disadvantaged populations in middle-income countries.

"The University of Michigan's public mission and excellence across many academic disciplines make us uniquely suited to address health inequities around the world,” says U-M president Mark Schlissel, M.D., Ph.D. “I applaud the Yamadas' generosity in supporting the work of our faculty, students and staff who will create long-term, global benefits through this new center."

Michigan ties, global hopes

The gift comes from a couple with strong U-M ties and an even stronger desire to help developing countries give their citizens access to health advances that people in the United States and others in high-income countries often take for granted.

The Yamadas write, “A great challenge of our time is that millions, mostly children in the poorest countries, die each year unnecessarily from illnesses that can be prevented or treated. The University of Michigan’s outstanding faculty across a broad array of disciplines and culture of working together make it uniquely able to address the challenge. We hope that our gift will help to catalyze action that will make a meaningful contribution toward correcting this unacceptable inequity.”