New Scholarship Fund Created to Support BUSPH Global Health Students

Posted on: April 28, 2014 Topics: Global Health

A new Boston University School of Public Health scholarship fund has been created with the goal of helping support future generations of global health leaders.

Frederick H. Chicos, a trustee emeritus of Boston University, established the scholarship fund with a $100,000 gift in honor of John Howe III, a 1969 graduate of the BU School of Medicine. Income from the permanently endowed fund will provide annual scholarships to BUSPH students based on financial need and academic merit, with a preference for those studying global health.

Fred Chicos

Fred Chicos

Chicos and Howe said they both share BUSPH’s goals of promoting the health of the world while improving well-being of students, and the creation of the “Dr. John P. Howe III Scholarship in Global Health Policy” represents the intersection of these ideas.

“Dr. Howe has dedicated his life to improving the health of those in need throughout the world. This investment in the students of the Boston University School of Public Health, in his name, is an investment in vision, innovation and leadership,” Chicos said.

The scholarship is designed to benefit international students or to support students who wish to explore public health in global settings. “By supporting the learning and decision-making capacity of public health students, we hope we’re contributing to building a healthier world — and to personally make a difference in the global community,” Chicos and Howe said.

Dr. Howe, the President and CEO of Project Hope, said the interest in global health is particularly important because today’s outstanding public health students will be tomorrow’s policy-makers, educators and business leaders.

“Over the years, many young people will be the beneficiaries of this generous gift at a time when it’s so important to have a sense of engagement with the world,” said Howe. Project Hope has worked internationally for more than 50 years to educate health care workers; strengthen health systems; improve the health of women and children; fight diseases such as TB, HIV/AIDS and diabetes; and to provide much-needed humanitarian assistance through donated medicines, medical supplies and volunteer medical help.

Dr. John Howe III

Dr. John Howe III

Howe said the ultimate goal of the donation is to advance opportunities for young people to become future leaders in global health. “The number of students choosing a global health track at BUSPH is a remarkable vote of confidence in the school and its commitment to the world,” said Howe, who is also contributing to the new fund. Dr. Howe is the vice chair of the BU Board of Trustees and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board at BUSPH.

Howe described Chicos as a “visionary leader with a long-term commitment to education.” Chicos is the former founder, chairman and CEO of The Chickering Group, a leading provider of student health insurance that was acquired by Aetna Life Insurance Company in 2003. In January 2014, Chicos launched a new student health insurance company, Christie Student Health Plans, to meet the needs of students and universities in addressing the rapidly changing health care market.

“He created a student health company based on intellectual principles that ended up being a great success,” Howe said. “In making this generous gift to the school, he’s taking his interest in education to a global setting.”

During the past decade, Howe said great examples abound of the benefits of a student experience focused on global health. With this donation by Chicos, Howe hopes for even more opportunities for dedicated students.

“That includes international students coming to the School of Public Health from around the world, but it also includes our best and brightest, the U.S. students who will perhaps have their appetites whetted for a greater leadership role in global health. We hope this will be a two-way street to share experiences and knowledge,” Howe said.

Prior to his role at Project Hope, Dr. Howe was the Distinguished Chair in Health Policy at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and served as the Center’s chief executive for fifteen years. Dr. Howe is board certified in both internal medicine and cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Howe has a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and earned his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine in 1969. He served two years in the Army Medical Corps and later completed the Health Systems Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Chicos, a 1976 graduate of Harvard University, is the founder and chairman of the Christie Foundation, a charitable corporation established with as focus on education. He was a founding director of the Gorbachev Foundation of North America, established in 1997 at Northeastern University by former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and several Northeastern University trustees.

In addition to years of involvement with BU, Chicos has played an active role on many prominent boards in finance, academia and health care, including Century Bank & Trust, Newbury College, and the Arthritis Foundation Massachusetts Chapter. He has also served on the Advisory Boards for both the Boston University Medical School and the NYU School of Nursing.