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Profile Last Updated: 01/03/2020 Grant Information Last Updated: 09/28/2020

Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

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Purpose and Activities

Dedicated to improving the health of the public by advancing the education and training of health professionals. The foundation's grantmaking is focused on projects that: a) Demonstrate or encourage interprofessional education and teamwork among health care professionals;b) Teach principles of patient safety, quality improvement, and system performance; c) Develop new models for clinical education, including community-based models;d)Increase the diversity of the health care professional workforce through career development for underrepresented minorities; and c) Improve education for the care of underserved populations. .


Incorporated in 1930 in NY - Since 1930, the Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation has devoted itself to the promotion of health and the relief of suffering. Kate Macy Ladd established the foundation to honor the memory of her father, Josiah Macy Jr., who was an eighth generation descendant of Thomas Macy, who emigrated from England in 1635. In 1659, Thomas Macy and nine other men purchased Nantucket Island (then a part of New York) to seek religious freedom. Six generations and nearly 200 years later, Josiah Jr.’s grandfather, Captain Josiah Macy, left Nantucket and established a successful shipping firm in New York City. Under Captain Macy’s sons and grandsons the firm prospered, opened one of the first oil refineries in New York, and ultimately was purchased by the Standard Oil Company. In 1876, Josiah Macy, Jr. (known as a prominent philanthropist) died of typhoid fever at the age 38. The family’s philanthropic tradition was continued by his daughter, Kate, who by the time of her death in 1945 had given the foundation $19 million. This endowment has grown and represents the sole source of the foundation’s funds. Until 1945, the foundation focused its grantmaking on medical research in such fields as traumatic shock and war-related psychiatric disorders, geriatrics and aging, arteriosclerosis, genetics and human development, and psychosomatic medicine. The foundation’s extensive conference and publication program was also started during this period. From the end of World War II through the mid-1960s, the foundation shifted its focus to support the efforts of medical schools to expand and strengthen their basic science faculties. During that time, the foundation also began supporting the emerging fields of basic reproductive biology, human reproduction, and family planning, and fostered their incorporation into the biological, behavioral, and social science bases of academic obstetrics and gynecology. Since the mid-1970s, the overwhelming majority of the foundation’s grants have supported projects that broaden and improve medical and health professional education. Today, it is the only national foundation solely dedicated to improving the education of health professionals.


Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

Independent foundation




44 E. 64th St. New York City, NY United States 10065-7306

Contact Information