News Release

Lilly to Commit $5 Million to Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity

May 3, 2021
Fund Strives to Improve Health in Underserved Communities

INDIANAPOLIS, May 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) today announced its support of Direct Relief's Fund for Health Equity (the Fund) with a $5 million commitment over the next five years. The Fund launched in March 2020 with $75 million raised against a goal of $150 million.

The $5 million commitment by Lilly is a component of the company's Racial Justice Initiative, a robust endeavor to deliver resources like education, health care, economic stability and jobs within the communities where Lilly operates.

Direct Relief, a humanitarian organization, established the Fund to improve health in underserved communities in the U.S. by providing financial support to health centers, free and charitable clinics and other community-based organizations and educational institutions that focus on the social determinants that strongly affect one's health, such as physical environment and social, political, cultural and economic factors.

Through the Fund, and with the input of the Fund's Advisory Council, Direct Relief will make strategic investments into the work of safety-net providers delivering healthcare for patients of racial and ethnic minority groups. These grant-funding investments are aimed at bolstering the capacity of organizations to provide high-quality, culturally appropriate healthcare, as well as focus on the social determinants of health that can play a significant role in poor health outcomes. Organizations can apply for grants that will strengthen their work in:

  • Leadership development to increase the number of healthcare providers from diverse backgrounds.
  • Preventive health strategies, including community-based outreach, awareness and education programs for patients.
  • Chronic disease care and management.
  • Innovation and technology to expand patient access and improve patient care.
  • Community immunity rates, including COVID-19 and outreach, education, testing and care.

"Lilly is committed to helping address systemic inequities in health, including for those with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, that too often have devastating effects on the lives of historically marginalized people," said David A. Ricks, Lilly chairman and CEO. "Our support for the Fund for Health Equity will help empower rural and urban local health organizations to leverage innovation and relevant programming to overcome health disparities in their communities."

"Direct Relief is deeply grateful for Lilly's substantial commitment of funding that will make such a difference for organizations that do important work every day to make health equity a reality for people who suffer from its absence," said Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO. "Lilly's action exemplifies the type of recognition, engagement, commitment, and leadership that is needed to change the chronic circumstances that prevent so many people from overcoming illness, maintaining their health, and realizing their full potential and enjoying the wonders that life holds for each of us."

Engagement with the Fund for Health Equity is an extension of Lilly's long-standing, and multi-faceted support of Direct Relief to improve access to care for those most vulnerable. This includes making COVID-19 therapies available in low- and middle-income countries, as well as hurricane preparedness in the U.S.

Lilly's commitment also supports Lilly 30x30, the company's goal to improve access to quality health care for 30 million people living in settings with limited resources, each year, by 2030. To learn more about Lilly's efforts, visit or join Lilly's sustainability webcast on Tuesday, May 4.

About Direct Relief
Direct Relief is active in all 50 states and U.S. territories, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Direct Relief now supports more than 1,500 nonprofit community health centers, free and charitable clinics, public health departments, and other safety-net organizations through the U.S., who in turn operate more than 5,000 clinical sites and provide care to millions of people.

About Eli Lilly and Company  
Lilly is a global health care leader that unites caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. We were founded more than a century ago by a man committed to creating high-quality medicines that meet real needs, and today we remain true to that mission in all our work. Across the globe, Lilly employees work to discover and bring life-changing medicines to those who need them, improve the understanding and management of disease, and give back to communities through philanthropy and volunteerism. To learn more about Lilly, please visit us at and I-LLY

About Lilly's Commitment to Racial Justice
Lilly's commitment to Direct Relief's Health Equity Fund is the latest step in the company's Racial Justice Initiative. Other aims include: expanding diversity in Lilly's clinical trials programs; doubling Lilly's spend with diverse suppliers; joining forces with major companies to hire, train and advance Black Americans into 1 million family-sustaining jobs through a partnership with the OneTen coalition; making a $30 million limited partner investment in Unseen Capital Health Fund LP, a venture fund intended to identify, fund and support underrepresented founders of early-stage healthcare companies and those building solutions for marginalized communities, and building or strengthening existing community and national partnerships to help drive social change.

About Lilly 30x30
Through investments in people, medicines and health systems, we aim to improve access to quality health care for 30 million people living in limited resource settings annually by 2030.  We call this global effort Lilly 30x30. To achieve our goal, we have structured Lilly 30x30 as a company-wide effort in strategic collaboration with valued external partners. Lilly 30x30 initiatives include activities across three areas of impact: pipeline, programs and partnerships. In each of these areas, we are leading cross-functional teams to develop high-impact, scalable projects and solutions.  

This press release contains forward-looking statements (as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995). For further discussion of risks and uncertainties of the company, see Lilly's most recent respective Form 10-K and Form 10-Q filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. Except as required by law, Lilly undertakes no duty to update forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release.

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Kevin Hern;; 317-277-1838 (Investors)

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