A Rutgers University partnership with Sanofi, an innovative global healthcare company, strives to diversify the pharmacy workforce by funding scholarships for students.

A lack of trust in healthcare systems and staff can present a huge barrier to health and wellbeing, especially for those who find themselves underrepresented within the healthcare workforce.

“Our research shows that an alarming number of people from marginalized communities have had their trust in healthcare eroded by negative experiences. We call this the trust gap,” says Subarna Malakar, head of DE&I for Sanofi North America and Global Specialty Care of Sanofi. “As an innovative global healthcare company, we have a role to play in responding to the destabilizing situation they are in when they need care.”

As part of the company’s goal, Sanofi has made a $450,000 gift to the Rutgers University Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. The funds will be used to award $15,000 individual scholarships to ten fifth- or sixth-year Rutgers pharmacy doctoral students each year for the next three years. The students also will benefit from curated training programs, mentorship from Sanofi leaders, internship placements and employment opportunities within Sanofi, and event and conference invitations.

Dean Joseph Barone
Dean Joseph Barone

“I am thrilled by this partnership with Sanofi and what it means for our pharmacy students,” says Joseph Barone, dean of Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. “The opportunities available to them through corporations like Sanofi are invaluable both to their professional development and to the future of healthcare at large. I applaud Sanofi for creating a space to build relationships between the growing health care industry and the very people it serves.”

The gift is part of A Million Conversations, a Sanofi initiative to rebuild trust in healthcare with the underrepresented. The initiative includes the Sanofi NextGen Scholarship program that strives to grow a pipeline of diverse healthcare professionals, scientists, and researchers.

Sanofi says the company chose the Rutgers pharmacy school as one of the first recipients of these scholarships in recognition of the company’s partnership with Rutgers, as well as of its top-tier research, rigorous training programs, and commitment to access and opportunity for its diverse pharmacy candidates.

“Rutgers will be a valuable partner in building the next generation of diverse healthcare leaders,” Malakar says. “By also working to build trust through conversation with underrepresented communities and healthcare stakeholders, Rutgers pharmacy students can join us in helping to improve engagement and health outcomes for all.”

Rutgers pharmacy school’s scholarship recipients will be joining the first Sanofi NextGen Scholarship cohort of students from the United States, Brazil, United Kingdom, France, and Japan.

“We hold great hope for these future pharmacy professionals, who will become bridges of trust with diverse communities, reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes through their careers in the pharmacy profession,” says Malakar.

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Please consider a gift to support scholarships at Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy. Your gift will be doubled now through the end of 2023 thanks to a scholarship match campaign.

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