News Release

Boston Children's Hospital among top 100 proposals for MacArthur $100 Million grant

Grant and Award Announcement

Boston Children's Hospital

BOSTON - February 19, 2020 -- The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation today unveiled Boston Children's Hospital is one of the highest-scoring proposals, designated as the Top 100, in its 100&Change competition for a single $100 million grant to help solve one of the world's most critical social challenges.

Boston Children's Adolescent Substance Use & Addiction Program has developed an effective model to prevent and treat substance use disorders in youth. Led by Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, and Elissa Weitzman, ScD, MSc, the program proposes to establish pediatric addiction medicine clinical and training programs that will build a physician workforce to implement substance use disorder prevention, early intervention and treatment nationwide.

In partnership with the American College of Academic Addiction Medicine and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry, the proposed project aims to train the next generation of physicians in pediatric-focused addiction medicine, grow clinical treatment programs and expand the capacity of the medical system to address substance use in youth. In doing so, we can reach youth and provide them access to professional advice, guidance and treatment.

This effort is among the first to recognize addiction as a pediatric onset chronic illness that can be prevented, ameliorated and treated early in life. The goal is to improve lives and eliminate addiction at population scale through prevention, early intervention and treatment of teen substance use disorders by teaching physicians to recognize the vulnerability and resilience of the developing adolescent brain and intervene accordingly.

The Top 100 proposals were rigorously vetted; undergoing MacArthur's initial administrative review, a Peer-to-Peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

"We are thrilled that the importance of substance use disorder treatment for youth is being recognized," said Levy, Director of the Adolescent Substance Use and Addiction Program at Boston Children's and Director of the proposed program. "We have been working on disseminating best practices around prevention, identification, and treatment of substance use disorders in young people for over 20 years, and with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, we are ready to lead this effort forward."

Each proposal was evaluated using four criteria: impactful, evidence-based, feasible, and durable. MacArthur's Board of Directors will select up to 10 finalists from these high-scoring proposals this spring.

"MacArthur seeks to generate increased recognition, exposure, and support for the high-impact ideas designated as the Top 100," said Cecilia Conrad, CEO of Lever for Change and MacArthur Managing Director, 100&Change. "Based on our experience in the first round of 100&Change, we know the competition will produce multiple compelling and fundable ideas. We are committed to matching philanthropists with powerful solutions and problem solvers to accelerate social change."

Since the inaugural competition, other funders and philanthropists have committed an additional $419 million to date to support bold solutions by 100&Change applicants. Building on the success of 100&Change, MacArthur created Lever for Change to unlock significant philanthropic capital by helping donors find and fund vetted, high-impact opportunities through the design and management of customized competitions. In addition to 100&Change, Lever for Change is managing the Chicago Prize, the Economic Opportunity Challenge, and the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award.

Boston Children's Hospital is ranked the #1 children's hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is the primary pediatric teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. Home to the world's largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. Today, 3,000 researchers and scientific staff, including 8 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 18 members of the National Academy of Medicine and 12 Howard Hughes Medical Investigators comprise Boston Children's research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children's is now a 415-bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care. For more, visit our Discoveries blog and follow us on social media @BostonChildrens, @BCH_Innovation, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.


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