Story by Molly Greenberg
Things are looking up for Howard University Hospital now that it will be receiving nearly $11 million in federal grants to research a new Ebola drug and HIV resistance related to sickle cell disease.
According to Howard officials, at least $2 million from the National Institutes of Health will go toward developing new therapeutics to target a particular protein of the Ebola virus, VP30. Another $2 million will go toward researching HIV resistance in people with sickle cell disease. The final $7 million will be dedicated to train minority students and fellows for the new Center for Hemoglobin Research in Minorities.
This news proves promising for the university hospital that furloughed its staff last summer and received a grim review from Moody’s Investor Service earlier this year. Moody’s reported that the university hospital’s usage had dropped with expenses accumulating over time. After Moody’s downgraded Howard’s credit rating twice in less than a year, Moody’s explained that it was the school’s teaching hospital that led to the university’s continued downgrade.
According to Moody, there was an estimated $37 million operating loss for the hospital in the fiscal year that closed on June 30. The loss was a result of declining patient admissions, among other factors. It’s worth noting that patient service, Moody’s said, accounted for approximately 30 percent of annual revenue that totals $840 million a year. Continue Reading