Bridgewater’s Ray Dalio pledges $50 million for new health justice initiative

Ray Dalio, billionaire and founder of Bridgewater Associates LP, speaks during the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio is giving $50 million to NewYork-Presbyterian to fight health inequality at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the disproportionate access to health care in the U.S.

The grant, which is from Dalio Philanthropies, will establish the Dalio Center for Health Justice. The center will “address health disparities and health justice through research, education, advocacy and investment in communities,” a statement said. Other initiatives include tackling unconscious bias in medicine, including when it comes to clinical trials.

“Our goal is to contribute to equal healthcare and equal education because we believe that these are the most fundamental building blocks of equal opportunity and a just society,” Dalio said in a statement.

Covid-19 has hit communities of color the hardest. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black and Hispanic Americans have been hospitalized at roughly 4.7 times the rate of White Americans. The death rate is also higher for minorities, with Black individuals 2.6 times as likely to succumb to the virus as White individuals.

“The COVID-19 pandemic exposed enduring health inequities in a new and alarming way, and the importance of health justice has never been clearer,” said Dr. Julia Iyasere, who will head the Dalio Center for Health Justice. “We are committed to improving the health and well-being of our patients and communities through research, dialogue and education, equity in our clinical operations, investment in our communities and advocacy for national change.”

According to Forbes Bridgewater oversees around $140 billion in assets, while Dalio has a personal net worth of roughly $16.9 billion. Since its founding in 2003, Dalio Philanthropies has given away more than $5 billion.

Dalio is a trustee of NewYork-Presbyterian.

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