Takeda extends Partners in Health collab to improve access to care in Massachusetts

Takeda is taking care of its adopted home.

The Japanese pharma has extended its longstanding partnership with the nonprofit organization Partners in Health, with a specific focus on promoting health equity in Massachusetts, where it has made its U.S. headquarters.

The duo will work toward breaking down systemic barriers to care, especially along the racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines that often play a role in preventing access to effective healthcare. In Massachusetts, according to data cited by Takeda, communities of color are estimated to spend an extra $1.5 billion per year in avoidable healthcare costs caused by poorer health—an annual economic burden that’s forecast to reach more than $11 billion within the next 30 years.

The partners’ work will take place across several fronts. For one, they’ll recruit local leaders to join newly established Health Equity Communities of Practice, where they can discuss policy changes to address the social determinants of health that may be preventing community members from accessing care. Meanwhile, they also plan to team up with local health departments and communities to expand their health equity and community inclusion program offerings.

The third prong of their Bay State strategy will see Takeda and PIH looking for ways to strengthen the local healthcare workforce and encourage more community members to join the health system.

“Expanding our collaboration with PIH will help improve health outcomes in communities disproportionately affected by health care disparities,” Chris Reddick, M.D., VP and head of U.S. health equity, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and philanthropy at Takeda, said in Tuesday’s announcement.

“This partnership takes a holistic look at a multitude of factors that affect one’s health and leverages community health improvement plans to ensure community members are connected to the health care resources they need most,” he continued. “Through this approach, additional communities across Massachusetts will be served, including those that surround our global hub in Cambridge.”

Takeda has worked with PIH since 2017, according to the company. Throughout that time, Takeda’s support has helped PIH provide screening, diagnostic and other clinical care services to more than 8 million people around the world.

Most recently, last fall, Takeda selected the organization as one of five partners in its annual global CSR program. In that case, it allotted 671 million yen (about $4.6 million) to PIH, with an aim of empowering 3,000 nurses and midwives to take on leadership roles within their communities, spanning Haiti, Mexico, Peru, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.