Press Coverage

Verbal autopsies used in push to better track global deaths

The interviewer asked: When did Sandrine begin to feel weak? Did she have a fever? Did her skin take on a yellow hue? Each typed answer determined the next question to pose, like following a phone tree. This was a “verbal autopsy” — an interview in which a trained health worker asks a close relative or caretaker about a recently deceased person. Increasingly, health officials are using these tools and their computer algorithms to learn more about the global course of human disease.

About 50 countries have attempted verbal autopsy projects, and the list is growing. On Tuesday, Bloomberg Philanthropies — a major funder of international health data initiatives — announced it will devote another $120 million over the next four years to continue projects in 20 previously funded countries, and add five more.

Bloomberg, California team on climate satellites

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is teaming up with California to use satellites to track climate pollutants.

Bloomberg Philanthropies announced its partnership with the state and the San Francisco Earth-imaging company Planet on Wednesday. It builds on former California Gov. Jerry Brown’s declaration last year the state would launch its “own damn satellite” as the federal government receded from global climate commitments.

Wearable device counts words Detroit parents say to their young children

Detroit is one of five cities chosen to launch a new program that equips children with special recording devices known as talk pedometers. They work like regular pedometers but instead of counting steps, they count how many words a child hears and speaks during the day.

Fighting for Coral Reefs in a Warming World

Marine conservation in particular can benefit from the support of local leaders and communities, both of which are crucial when it comes to protecting coral reefs. We believe change that begins at the local level has the power to catalyze lasting progress for the world.

The efforts of groups such as WCS, with support from Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Vibrant Oceans Initiative, put this belief into practice. From work with coastal residents, sustainable fisheries, and regional governments and organizations, we know that empowering local communities is a proven way to protect our oceans and maintain ocean livelihoods in both the short and long term.

Teen Vaping Crisis: Here Is The Latest From Bloomberg And The FDA

This crisis prompted two separate announcements on Wednesday, one from Bloomberg Philanthropies and the other from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both centered around flavored e-cigarettes.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the philanthropic organization founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, announced the launch of “Protect Kids: Fight Flavored E-Cigarettes.” This is a $160 million, three-year initiative that aims to ban all flavored e-cigarettes and the marketing of e-cigarette products to kids.

Bloomberg Foundation, Peres Center, Interior Ministry to Launch Innovation Hubs in 12 New Cities Across Israel

Bloomberg Philanthropies is partnering with Israel’s Ministry of Interior and the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation to launch a national network of hubs for municipal innovation across Israel. The network will be called Hazira (the arena or the scene, in Hebrew) and will tap into a unique Bloomberg Philanthropies program to set up innovation hubs in 12 new Israeli cities over the course of five years, the foundation announced this week.

Bloomberg Philanthropies, the charitable organization of American billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, will leverage its Innovation Teams program, or i-teams, for the initiative. The program allows mayors to fund in-house innovation teams that investigate complex local challenges and design solutions with clear goals, to improve citizens’ lives.

Fighting extreme heat in cities with urban design

The following is a contributed article from Adam Freed and Jacob Koch of Bloomberg Associates’ Sustainability Practice.

It’s no secret that climate change has caused extreme weather and record-shattering heatwaves around the world. This past month, Europe experienced its hottest month on record ever. In France, hydration breaks were required during the Women’s World Cup and more than 4,000 schools were forced to close. In the U.S., temperatures in Anchorage, AK soared above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, more than 20 degrees above normal; and San Francisco reached a high of 100 degrees, more than 30 degrees above average.

Rebuilding Trust in Government Is Key to Strengthening Cities

In trust-rich Stockholm, where support for carbon action is among the highest in the world, officials are leaving nothing to chance. The city has pioneered an ambitious initiative that invites citizens to convert their yard waste into a carbon-capturing charcoal that residents can then use in their window boxes and gardens to promote plant growth. The project, initially funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, advances Stockholm’s goal of becoming a fossil fuel-free city by 2040 and, importantly, vests residents even more fully in the city’s identity as a global climate leader.

Tobacco industry interference holds back efforts to stamp out smoking

Last year Bloomberg Philanthropies, which funded the WHO report, established Stopping Tobacco Organizations and Products (Stop), the world’s first tobacco industry watchdog. Stop has launched an online database, highlighting a wide range of organisations in 22 countries acting as what it describes as “tobacco industry allies” – organisations which purport to be independent but which receive funding from the tobacco industry and promote the tobacco companies’ agenda.

Latin America’s war on obesity could be a model for U.S.

“Brazil’s guidelines are simple but radical,” says Neena Prasad, of the Bloomberg Philanthropies, which has funded and provided technical assistance for obesity prevention programs in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Peru. “It’s a really sensible approach. Choose whole, minimally processed foods, cook those foods yourself, and eat those foods with other people.

Bloomberg announces Pennsylvania projects in its $10M overdose-prevention initiative

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiative to prevent overdoses around the country — starting with $10 million in funds going to Pennsylvania, one of the states hardest hit by the opioid crisis — is funding its first projects in the commonwealth.

Vital Strategies, the public health nonprofit that is working with Bloomberg Philanthropies on the project, is announcing Tuesday that the money will help more than 100 hospitals to develop treatment strategies for opioid use disorder; support the use of medication-assisted treatment in state prisons; and train law enforcement on the principles of harm reduction.

How Democrats came to oppose natural gas

Why it matters: Natural gas, while far cleaner than coal and oil, is still a fossil fuel that emits heat-trapping emissions that cause global warming. It’s become plentiful in America over the past decade and is poised to become one of the world’s dominant energy sources. To what degree politicians embrace it or not is critical.

The big picture: As I’ve written in two recent Harder Line columns, Democrats, including those running for president, are increasingly embracing more aggressive and progressive policies on climate change while rejecting natural gas, along with oil and coal. But this hasn’t always been the case.

Flashback: Positions by two prominent Democrats — former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) — illustrate the overall party’s shift away from natural gas. Let’s break them down.

Milan is embarking on a bold plan to plant 3 million trees

Soon, there will be more trees than people in the city of Milan. Mayor Giuseppe “Beppe” Sala has embarked on an ambitious plan to plant 3 million trees in the Italian city—population 1.3 million—better known for industry than natural wonders.

For the last year and a half, the city of Milan has been working with Bloomberg Associates, the pro bono, not-for-profit consultancy established by Michael Bloomberg with the goal of helping cities around the world. They work with local governments on disciplines like marketing, municipal integrity, sustainability, cultural asset management, urban planning, media, digital, tech, transportation, and social services. In Milan, the relationship covers about two-thirds of those disciplines, including the creation of new public plazas. (“It’s funny that ‘piazza’ comes from Italy and we’re going back and helping them new plazas,” says George Fertitta of Bloomberg Associates.)

Michael Bloomberg to plunge $500M into clean energy effort

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is plunging $500 million into an effort to close all of the nation’s remaining coal plants by 2030 and put the United States on track toward a 100% clean energy economy.

The billionaire Bloomberg’s investment in the Beyond Carbon initiative marks the largest ever philanthropic effort to combat climate change, according to the mayor’s foundation. The organization will bypass the federal government and instead seek to pass climate and clean energy policies, as well as back political candidates, at the state and local level.

In landmark case, Brazil sues top tobacco firms to recover public health costs

The suit seeks to recover the cost of treating patients for 26 illnesses related to smoking tobacco or coming into contact with cigarette smoke, the AGU said in a statement.

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Brazil. It kills over 156,000 each year from related diseases, costing the healthcare system about 57 billion reais ($14.1 billion), according to a statement from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

A temple that was built to help people heal after the Parkland school shooting goes up in flames

The Temple of Time, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is among five large-scale art installations being displayed in Coral Springs and Parkland over two years. The projects are an extension of an art therapy program that has turned the Coral Springs Museum of Art into a space that has helped children and educators cope since the shooting.
Best also built two of the four benches surrounding the temple. They will be given to the families of victims Nicholas Dworet and Helena Ramsay. The others will be on display in Coral Springs and Parkland, city officials said.

Sink or swim: how Bangladesh is turning the tide against child drowning

Now a new partnership between the Bangladeshi Centre of Injury Prevention and Research (CIPRB) and Bloomberg Philanthropies aims to tackle this by opening over 500 day care centres – known as anchals – and rolling out swimming lessons for children across villages.

The initiative – introduced in seven districts covering a population of several hundred thousand – has reduced the number of children drowning by 80 per cent.

How Evidence Has Fueled Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Work In Tobacco Control

By Dr. Kelly Henning and Dr. Jennifer Ellis

When he became mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg picked tobacco control as one of the key issues on which he could have the biggest impact on public health. Immediately after taking office in 2002, the new mayor implemented science-based approaches to reducing tobacco use that were not yet commonly in place in the United States but had the potential to dramatically lower smoking rates among city residents. That strategy paid off. Reductions in tobacco prevalence in New York City were immediate and evident. In twelve years, adult smoking rates dropped from 21.5 percent in 2002 to 13.9 percent in 2014.

These 5 public art projects just won $1 million each to spark discussion about social issues

Each proposal is designed to both address related civic issues and bolster the local economy. That’s an idea that’s proven out: Bloomberg’s last Public Art Challenge ran in 2014 and eventually led to an estimated $13 million in economic growth across the four areas where projects were installed. So Bloomberg re-upped the idea in February 2018 with this competition that drew more than 200 entries from cities with at least 30,000 or more people.

Top Colleges Are Enrolling More Students From Low-Income Homes

A major push to increase enrollment of lower-income students at the nation’s top colleges and universities is showing some early signs of success. Since a public effort called the American Talent Initiative was launched two years ago, 96 schools have increased enrollment of low-income students by 7,291 students, a 3.5% gain, according to a report being released by the group Monday. While the number may be small, it bucks a nationwide trend of declining enrollment by such students in recent years.

The American Talent Initiative, backed by $4.7 million to date from Bloomberg Philanthropies, has grown from 30 schools to 108, with the goal of increasing by 50,000 the number of low- and middle-income students who enroll in and graduate from good colleges by 2025. Roughly 300 schools, all with six-year graduation rates of at least 70%, are eligible to sign on.

Death on the road: Traffic accidents kill more than malaria, HIV and TB

Road traffic accidents have become the eighth leading cause of death worldwide killing 1.35 million people a year, a report from the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed. The “unacceptably high” death toll is higher than that from malaria, HIV or tuberculosis and is climbing – global road traffic deaths stood at 1.15 million in 2000. Children and young adults are most at risk, with more than 440,000 aged between five and 29 killed on the roads in 2016.

“Road safety is an issue that does not receive anywhere near the attention it deserves,” said Michael Bloomberg, CEO of Bloomberg Philanthropies and the WHO’s global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases and injuries.

Bloomberg Philanthropies will donate $50 million to battle opioid epidemic

Bloomberg Philanthropies will donate $50 million to states fighting the opioid epidemic, an effort to support current programs and encourage new approaches. Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the three-year program Friday morning during the second day of a health conference in Washington hosted by another of his ventures, the Bloomberg American Health Initiative.

These nine cities are dreaming up local solutions to global issues

The Bloomberg Philanthropies Mayors Challenge worked with city leaders to launch innovative projects to address complex issues like homelessness and energy independence.

Parkland, Coral Springs win $1 million grant for art projects on gun violence, healing

The award comes from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the nonprofit started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who also founded the gun-control organization Everytown for Gun Safety. The first of the public artworks could be unveiled as soon as Feb. 14, the first anniversary of the massacre that claimed 17 lives, says Julia Andrews, director of the Coral Springs Museum of Art.

Bloomberg gives Johns Hopkins a record $1.8 billion for student financial aid

Former New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Sunday he is giving a record $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins University to support student financial aid at his alma mater and make its admissions process “forever need-blind.” The gift, believed to be the largest private donation in modern times to higher education, is a landmark in a growing national movement to make elite universities more accessible to students from low- to middle-income families.

The $185 million quest to make people love the ocean enough to protect it

Our oceans are under threat–now Bloomberg Philanthropies and OceanX are trying to make it clear how much will be lost if we don’t fix the problem.

Can Alaska Help Solve Climate Change?

Bloomberg Philanthropies has chosen Anchorage, Alaska, as a 2018 Public Art Challenge, and the city will now get up to $1 million for a project aimed at finding solutions to climate change.

Mayors Challenge Winners Target Justice, Homeless, Energy

The idea for a juvenile justice hub started with a handful of Philadelphia police officers who knew the way they interacted with juveniles had to change. The judges of the Bloomberg Philanthropies U.S. Mayors Challenge are willing to bet their idea will work.

Bloomberg announced the nine winners of the challenge that tasked cities to develop innovative solutions to their biggest problems that other cities might copy if they are successful. Each winner will receive $1 million in prize money to implement the ideas.

World’s top fishing nations to be given millions to protect oceans

Millions of pounds’ worth of funding to tackle global overfishing and protect coral reefs will be announced at a major conference in Indonesia. Politicians, marine experts and philanthropists will convene in Bali at the Our Ocean conference to agree commitments on how to address the pressures facing our oceans, including rising sea temperatures, unsustainable fishing practices, marine pollution and coral bleaching. Bloomberg Philanthropies will announce a cash injection of $86m [£67m] to support coastal communities across 10 countries, including Australia, Fiji, Indonesia, Tanzania, Peru and the US.

The talent is out there. So why don’t elite colleges enroll more low-income students?

We worked with Bloomberg Philanthropies and a group of high-graduation-rate colleges — now numbering more than 100 — to form the American Talent Initiative (ATI). ATI is based on the belief that colleges can achieve more by working together — making shared commitments to prioritize socioeconomic diversity, holding one another accountable, and sharing strategies that work — than by going it alone. Unlike previous attempts to address this challenge, we’ve set a concrete goal: enroll and graduate 50,000 additional low- and middle-income students per year at high-graduation-rate colleges and universities by 2025.