BOSTON (WHDH) - Patriots owner Robert Kraft and the Kraft Family Foundation have donated $50 million to Massachusetts General Hospital to support community health and health equity– the largest gift for these causes in the hospital’s 211-year history.

The gift will “address healthcare disparities caused by race, ethnicity, geography, and economic status,” according to a press release from MGH.

“I am proud to live in a city that is home to what I consider the greatest hospitals in the world, led by Mass General,” Kraft said. “Yet, I’ve always been troubled by healthcare inequities, as I know there are many in nearby communities who don’t have healthcare and can’t access the excellent care others receive here.”

Kraft added that this was the inspiration for the founding of the Kraft Center for Community Health in 2011, which brings clinical care and harm reduction services via mobile units to communities most impacted by the opioid epidemic, including Boston, Brockton, Springfield and Worcester.

“With this gift, it is not only our intention to grow and expand the scale of the Kraft Center, but to also help bring increased visibility to the equity issues that exist in therapy treatment and development,” he said.

“On behalf of the hospital, I would like to express our profound gratitude to the Kraft family for this transformative and inspirational act of philanthropy, which is not only the largest of its kind in our history, but also the latest highlight of their already lengthy history of support for MGH,” said Dr. David F. M. Brown, president of MGH.

The gift will also support a permanent Robert K. Kraft Endowed Chair in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to address health care disparities in clinical care at MGH and beyond.

The chair will be held by the medical director of the hospital’s sickle cell center, which is a serious genetic blood disorder that largely affects African Americans. Research into this disease is historically underfunded, leading to inequitable access to appropriate care.

“By creating an endowed position focused on addressing clinical health care disparities, Robert Kraft and the Kraft family are creating important pathways for patients living with sickle cell disease to receive comprehensive medical care which has not traditionally been available to them,” said Dr. Joseph Betancourt, Sumner M. Redstone Endowed Chair in Health Equity and senior vice president of equity and community health at MGH.

The gift will also fund expansion efforts at the Mass General Blood Donation Center, which will be renamed to honor the Krafts.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox