Founding Story

The Kraft Center for Community Health was established in 2011 by a generous gift from the Kraft family to Partners HealthCare to expand access to high quality, cost effective health care for low-and moderate-income individuals and families.

Robert and Myra KraftThe Kraft Center will build a strong foundation of physicians and masters-prepared nurses with a deep and nuanced understanding of the health inequalities that affect underserved communities. Kraft Center programs are designed both to:

  1. develop a new generation of physician-leaders committed to tackling the challenge of health inequality at the policy, management, and research levels.
  2. recruit and retain top-notch physicians and nurses in the community-based practice settings that are often the first or only point of health care for many low-and moderate-income individuals and families.  

Notably, the Kraft Center actively strives to foster closer partnerships between academic medicine and community-based health care, with a view to creating important synergies between health care scholarship and practice in the context of underserved communities.

Our relationship with Community Health Centers

To that end, the Kraft Center has developed strong relationships with community health centers that care for disproportionate numbers of low-income, publicly insured or uninsured, and higher-risk patients throughout Massachusetts. Community health centers serve as clinical practice sites for the motivated young physicians and nurses engaged with Kraft Center programs, offering them hands-on experience and mentorship from seasoned clinicians well-versed in the specific needs of underserved communities. At the same time, the Kraft Center provides myriad opportunities for program participants to develop the research, management, and policy expertise that will enable them to assume leadership positions and craft novel hybrid career paths capable of changing the face of health care for underserved groups.

National Vision

The Kraft Center begins in Massachusetts, but its vision is national. We will develop and disseminate innovative training and leadership models in community health, and narrow the gap between academic medical centers and community health centers. We will be part of the solution to providing access to superb care for underserved populations. And we will grow an academic-community workforce that itself will become a magnet for young doctors and nurses, nurturing their idealism in the service of community health.