George Mason UniversitySchool of Business

Partnerships for Change

Lasting change is only possible through collaboration. The Center is building a coalition of partner schools and organizations to accomplish our ambitious goals. Every one of our programs is shaped by the ethos of teamwork and cooperation

Kaiser Permanente Commits $175,000 to B4BW and George Mason University

Amid a global pandemic that continues to exacerbate health disparities for many Americans, Kaiser Permanente has committed $175,000 to the Mason and Partners (MAP) Clinics and B4BW. MAP Clinics serve the uninsured and refugee community in Prince William and Fairfax counties. Located in Manassas, Springfield, and Culmore, these bridge-care model clinics provide free health care, school physicals, screenings, and mental health services for people living in low-income and medically underserved areas.

Additional partners in this effort include community organizations like Columbia Baptist Church, the Medical Care for Children Partnership Foundation, Culmore Clinic, St. Anthony’s Parish, Dar Al-Hijrah Islamic Center and Just Neighbors, along with county leadership, local businesses and philanthropic organizations to support these initiatives.

The grant will enable us to serve as the lead anchor partner in a collaborative initiative to remove barriers and expand access to health for residents in the Bailey’s Crossroads/Culmore neighborhood of Fairfax County, Virginia. Also, it further supports Kaiser Permanente’s investment in developing innovative community-designed programs and community-led initiatives aiming to address health disparities in the Bailey’s/Culmore community. In

This is a particularly timely effort for our region. Prior to the pandemic, about 240,000 people in Northern Virginia were underinsured or did not have health insurance and 160,000 lived in poverty. In the last year, unemployment spiked in Fairfax County by more than 5 percent, and the number of county residents seeking emergency food assistance doubled.

Working Together so Bees can Thrive

During Homecoming weekend in February 2020, we launched a partnership with Beltway Brewing Company of Sterling, Virginia. Named to pay homage to the year (1957) in which George Mason University was founded, Beltway Brewing utilizes HBI honey in their Patriots 57 - pale ale. A portion of the proceeds are returned to HBI to support future growth of the program and serves as a way to expand awareness of the initiative and provide a tangible link between bees and business.

The honey bee, a naturalized species of pollinator, is responsible for pollinating approximately $15 billion worth of crops annually in the US alone. As humans modify the natural landscape, understanding honey bees’ resource base and what makes their populations healthy is important economically and in terms of food security. If bees don’t thrive, neither do we. We are engaged in a research partnership with Fairfax County and Covanta that addresses those very questions and concerns. 24 hives have been established on a former landfill site and we are using the opportunity to research how honey bees are impacted by their local environment. In this case specifically, we are interested in how contaminants in the pollen resources they access might be introduced to, and accumulate in their hives. This work will help us learn whether honey bee hives are sufficiently provisioned throughout the seasons and what sort of plants they rely on. It will also inform the degree to which heavy metal contamination is in their foraging range. This knowledge will help inform action that ensures continued health for this important pollinator species.