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Rapid Response Fund

The YSPH Rapid Response Fund supports scientists fighting COVID-19 and other global disease outbreaks.

Rapid Response Fund

Preventing and Responding to Global Disease Outbreaks

One of the first schools of public health established in the United States, the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH) has made major contributions towards eliminating the large global burden attributable to infectious diseases and training the next generation of leaders who will take up this challenge, both locally and globally. The implementation of polio and measles vaccines, discovery of Lassa Fever and Lyme disease, and eradication of neglected tropical disease have been success stories in the School’s history. Furthermore, the School has used its interdisciplinary strengths in laboratory research, field epidemiology, and application of cutting edge analytic modeling approaches to make key advances in the response to emerging infectious diseases such as the emergence of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s and more recently, the epidemics of Ebola and Zika virus. We are now faced with an imminent threat created by the pandemic of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Yale is mounting major initiatives to respond to the pandemic at home in New Haven and in the more than 30 countries where our faculty and students are stationed and working towards improving public health.

The need for a Rapid Response Fund at the Yale School of Public Health has become paramount as we face a COVID-19 pandemic of historic proportions.

Gifts to the Rapid Response Fund will be put to immediate use by Yale faculty and students who are on the front lines of the public health response to this outbreak. Donors may wish to support individual components outlined below or make a gift to cover the entire range of needs.

  1. Mount immediate and effective responses to protect Yale and broader New Haven from the emerging coronavirus threat and mitigate the impact on Yale’s academic mission. Specific support is needed to:
    1. Produce diagnostic tests at Yale laboratories given the nationwide crisis in tool kit shortages.
    2. Implement novel and safe approaches to screening, testing, and provision of care for community members and health care workers given the high transmissibility of the virus.
    3. Use the expertise at YSPH in epidemiology and modeling to generate the evidence the university needs to implement sound decision making on social distancing and prevention.
  2. Use this unfortunate opportunity to do what Yale does best: mounting inter-disciplinary research to develop new diagnostics, therapeutics, vaccines, and approaches to public health prevention. Specific support is needed to:
    1. Initiate research studies at Yale New Haven Hospital and community so we can maximize what we learn from the outbreak.
    2. Use information and samples from these investigations to elucidate why specific populations are susceptible to the virus, which in turn will enable Yale to develop urgently needed therapeutics and vaccines.
    3. Apply new and powerful approaches in viral genomics to identify transmission chains in community and health care settings, which can be targeted for effective control.
    4. Integrate epidemiology, mathematical modeling and operations research to identify cost-effective approaches to preventing the spread of coronavirus in the US and globally.
  3. Make Yale the international center of reference for advocating effective and just policy in response to the coronavirus emergency. Specific support is needed to:
    1. Provide the Global Health Justice Partnership (GHJP) and the Yale Schools of Public Health and Law the capacity to compile the evidence base and identify policy that is grounded in science and ensures that the burdens of the coronavirus pandemic do not fall unfairly on people in society who are vulnerable because of their economic, social or health status.
    2. Conduct assessments about which public health measures worked, which did not, and how effective they were during the pandemic. Evaluating various countries’ performance in managing the pandemic will give opportunities to analyze how countries learn from each other and can help avoid future mistakes.

Endowed Naming Opportunities

In addition to the “current use” Rapid Response Fund, the Yale School of Public Health offers naming opportunities for endowed funds that directly impact faculty and students who are working on the front lines of emerging infectious diseases.

Donors may provide permanent, structural support for YSPH in this arena to ensure that funding is permanently available to recruit and retain the best and brightest minds in the field. Endowed naming opportunities include:

  • Professorships in Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Modeling, Global Health or other specialties - $3 million
    • This empowers senior faculty to respond quickly to emerging emergencies
  • Doctoral student support - $2 million
    • This enables students to tackle the highest priority issues facing our planet
  • Innovation Funds for research, including pilot project grant support - $500,000 or more
    • This helps faculty tackle emerging issues with prompt research responses
  • Junior Faculty resource fund - $500,000 or more
    • This enables immediate responses to pandemic threats and community risks

How to Give Online

  • Visit Yale Giving (YSPH page)
  • Enter the amount you would like to give
  • Click “View Other / Give to Multiple Funds”
  • In the new window, select “Rapid Response Fund for Global Outbreaks” under the School of Public Health header
  • Click “Continue” and proceed to fill in personal and credit card information