Life Science Cares Bay Area, a nonprofit that empowers corporations within the Life Sciences Industry to use their time, talent, and treasure to help end poverty, launched today at the industry’s annual J.P. Morgan 39th Annual Healthcare Conference. J.P. Morgan will make a $1 million philanthropic investment to support relief efforts for education, homelessness, and food and health insecurity locally and kickstart the Life Science Cares affiliate here in the Bay Area, which joins affiliates in San Diego and Philadelphia as well as the Greater Boston Life Science Cares, the flagship organization.
The Bay Area is a life sciences hub that boasts more than 2,500 companies, employing 96,000 industry professionals. The region also boasts the highest income gap in the state; top income earners here make 12.2 times more than those at the bottom end of the ladder. Approximately 10 percent of Bay Area residents live in poverty, and the share of those who regularly experience economic insecurity is even higher. The vision of Life Science Cares is to help confront these disparities by harnessing human and financial resources from companies, industry leaders and employees and committing them to organizations that improve education, workforce development and sustainability for individuals and families living in poverty.
Life Science Cares is a turnkey corporate social responsibility program for the life science industry and a model through which other professional industries can leverage employee expertise and corporate profits to tackle society’s greatest social issues including pervasive racial and socioeconomic inequalities. Life Science Cares Bay Area announced its inaugural grants for three nonprofit partners: Ayudando Latinos a Sonar, The Center for Excellence in Life, and Glide.
The $1 million contribution from J.P. Morgan will accelerate the number of nonprofit partners and the size of the grants that Life Science Cares Bay Area can provide. This investment in relief efforts is part of the firm’s global philanthropic commitment to address the immediate and long-term challenges resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic. “My colleagues and I are excited to support the launch of Life Science Cares Bay Area concurrent with the start of our Annual Healthcare Conference, which would have kicked off in person in San Francisco today,” said Mike Gaito, Global Head of Healthcare Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan. “We believe individual wellbeing and economic opportunity are deeply rooted in things like neighborhood conditions and undermined by challenges in healthcare, food and housing insecurity, so we are proud to support the efforts of Life Science Cares Bay Area in these critical endeavors.”
“What’s unique about our model is that we don’t go into nonprofits telling them how to do their jobs. Instead, we educate ourselves by asking them how we can help them do their critical work bigger and faster, which enables us to pivot what we do to best serve their needs,” says George Scangos, Ph.D., CEO of Vir Biotechnology, and co-founder of Life Science Cares Bay Area. “So many of our people here in the Bay Area put heart and soul into improving the lives of others. Life Science Cares will make it even easier for our local life science companies to support the nonprofits that can have the most meaningful impact for our most vulnerable neighbors.”
Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS) received an inaugural grant from Life Science Cares Bay Area to help keep its food pantry program going and address the many needs related to the uptick in COVID-19 cases amongst Latinos in the Coastside. “Life Science Cares stepped in at a critical time to helps up continue to provide culturally-focused, wrap-around support to our community,” according to Dr. Belinda Hernandez-Arriaga, founder and executive director of ALAS. “Longer term, our partnership with Life Science Cares can help us expand the reach and impart of our life-changing programs, like our Wifi-equipped Farmworkers Bus.”
In addition to driving change in communities, Life Science Cares encourages access for people of different socio-economic backgrounds to employment within the life science industry. The Boston affiliate, for example, has already helped to place nearly 100 college students in internship positions at top life science companies as part of Project Onramp. Life Science Cares Bay Area plans to launch the biotechnology workforce development program created in 2019 locally to help bridge the opportunity gap for underserved and minority students and build a diverse pipeline into the industry for area residents.
“The life science industry in the Bay Area and around the country is uniquely suited to help address society’s biggest challenges and to employing talented individuals from diverse backgrounds. Life Science Cares Bay Area will partner with companies and nonprofits to create new opportunities for people of all backgrounds to enter our industry,” says Ted W. Love, M.D., President & CEO of Global Blood Therapeutics. Dr. Love is a co-founder of LSC Bay Area and serves as a member of its Board of Managers, which also includes Dr. Scangos of Vir, Hans Bishop of GRaIL, Robert Blum of Cytokinetics, Cindy Dunkle of Denali, Jeff Hessekiel of Exelixis, Nina Kjellson of Canaan, Mark McClung of Sangamo, Shawnte Mitchell of Zogenix, Matt Outten of Bridge Bio, Katherine Scangos of UCSF, Lynn Seely of Myovant, and Rob Perez, founder of Life Science Cares.
Perez, an Operating Partner at the global growth equity firm, General Atlantic, founded Life Science Cares in Boston in 2016. “Historically, the public’s perception of the life science industry has been focused on the healthcare advancements driven by some of the country’s brightest minds and most prosperous biotech and medical device companies,” says Perez. “But those minds and organizations are also leaders in solving social issues and using philanthropy and community investments to make change. Now more than ever, nonprofits and companies need to work together to help tackle racial and socioeconomic divides, all exacerbated by the pandemic. That’s where Life Science Cares steps in.”
To date, the Life Science Cares network has distributed more than $4.5 million in grants and performed 12,000 volunteer hours to support human service organizations in Greater Boston and Philadelphia. The organization is on track to grow exponentially with this addition of the San Diego & Bay Area affiliates.
ABOUT LSC BAY AREA NONPROFIT PARTNERS
Ayudando Latinos a Sonar (ALAS) enriches the lives of the Latino population on the Coastside, by building safe spaces, advocating for the community and supporting farmworkers and the healthy development of their children. Their WiFi equipped Farmworkers Bus facilitates connectivity for farm workers and their families and enables medical virtual visits, job training and more. Learn more at alashmb.org.
The Center for Excellence in Life (TCEL) mentors, inspires and empowers women and underrepresented youth in the pursuit of excellence. It offers STEM education, virtual internship programs, career development workshops and mentorship for youth and professional. Learn more at theexcellentlifecenter.org.
GLIDE is a national recognized center for social justice, dedicated to fighting system injustices, creating pathways out of poverty and crisis and transforming lives. In the wake of the pandemic, GLIDE has also provided free, low-barrier COVID-19 to its community, along with facilitating other medical services. Learn more at glide.org.