Aflac Pledges $1 Million to Morehouse School of Medicine

Thursday, December 10th, 2020

Aflac, a leading provider of supplemental insurance and products in the U.S., has pledged $1 million to Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). The funding will support the institution's research and education programs related to the ongoing opioid crisis in rural America. Aflac will provide Morehouse School of Medicine with five annual installments of $200,000, which began in 2020. The majority of Atlanta-based Morehouse School of Medicine's more than 1,400 alumni serve communities located in rural areas and inner cities, locally, nationally and internationally.

"For years, the opioid crisis has impacted American families, and nowhere more than in rural areas, especially in the rural African-American community. We applaud Morehouse School of Medicine for their willingness to engage directly with this issue in the Chattahoochee Valley and Columbus, Georgia, region, where Aflac is headquartered," said Aflac U.S. President Teresa L. White. "This program will help individuals understand the power and dangers of opioid addiction, while lessons learned will likely drive national, fact-based discussions about how to confront this crisis in rural America and the impact on the Black community. Aflac is proud to sponsor this initiative, designed to help people when they need it most, our company's principal mission since Aflac's founding in 1955."

MSM's work will take place in the Columbus area and focus on five distinct groups: healthcare providers, social workers and federally qualified health centers, high schools, local colleges and faith-based community organizations and churches.

"The opioid epidemic remains relentless in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley Region and threatens to worsen as federal and state attention, funding and human resources shift to address the COVID-19 pandemic," said Morehouse School of Medicine President and Dean Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD. "Existing issues in the public health system, like the shortage of providers in underserved areas, are being exacerbated as clinics across the country that once treated opioid use disorder are becoming overwhelmed by cases related to COVID-19."