Humana has donated a sizeable downtown building to the University of Louisville, the Kentucky-based insurance company announced Monday, to serve as home base for the school’s Health Equity Innovation Hub.
The building is located at 515 W. Market St., with eight floors and 130,000 square feet of office space. The insurance company, downtown Louisville’s largest employer, recently vacated the space and had been looking for a tenant that would “add to the vibrancy and diversity of downtown while also aligning closely with Humana’s mission to improve the health and wellbeing of our members and communities,” according to Douglas Edwards, Humana’s senior vice president of enterprise associate and business solutions.
The Hub will serve as a research lab that will study methods to tackle health disparities in the city’s marginalized communities, and “develop solutions for health inequities in Louisville and globally,” according to a news release.
Humana, the Humana Foundation and the university announced in February plans to invest up to $25 million in the Hub, with the foundation putting forward $13.5 million.
Nwando Olayiwola, chief health equity officer and senior vice president at Humana, said the building’s central location will help the company and the school work closely in tandem. Humana is headquartered nearby on Main Street, and last month the university announced separate plans to open a new campus downtown to serve as home to the Christina Lee Brown Envirome Institute New Vision of Health Campus.
“Having the Hub in close proximity to our downtown offices will allow for better collaboration and ultimately will result in greater impact for the important work being done to solve health inequities,” Olayiwola said in a release.
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Lori Gonzalez, interim president for the university, said school officials are excited about the future of the Hub, which will be led by public health researcher Monica Wendel, and plan to share more details about the program in the near future.
“We are proud to work with Humana and The Humana Foundation to further health equity for all through this new Hub,” Gonzalez said in February. “Together, we can have a tangible impact that benefits our shared community and far, far beyond.”
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