Newswise — Statement of William Dietz, MD, PhD, director and chair of Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, on the Death of Entrepreneur and Visionary Philanthropist Sumner M. Redstone:

Our condolences go out today to the family and friends of the entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist Sumner M. Redstone, who died at age 97. Our work at the Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness, based at the George Washington University (GW) Milken Institute School of Public Health, would not be possible without the generous gift from the Sumner M. Redstone Charitable Foundation. 

With that gift, the Redstone Global Center has built up an expertise over the last six years that has allowed us to focus on the drivers of health, resilience, and sustainability and the systems that perpetuate inequity and disparities. The support is responsible for the collaborations we’ve built within the Milken Institute School of Public Health, with other professional sectors and, critically, with communities to remove barriers to well-being across generations and geographies.

The Redstone Global Center’s home in the only school of public health in the nation’s capital provides a unique opportunity to influence local, national, and global policy, fostering innovations in prevention and wellness that can be replicated elsewhere.

Mr. Redstone’s generosity also has enabled our focus on research and advocacy aimed at making Washington, D.C. the healthiest capital in the world – characterized by optimal well-being for all residents, regardless of race, gender, class, ability or zip code.

As the District, our country and the world reckon with a new syndemic of COVID-19, obesity, and food insecurity, and how these issues interactions with structural racism and classism, the Redstone Global Center’s work has become ever more relevant.

It is an honor to have been entrusted with the responsibility bestowed by Mr. Redstone’s gift. We are proud to have the opportunity to build on his legacy with the Redstone Global Center’s work as we continue to work together to improve the health and well-being of our city, nation and planet.