Category Archives: Meet Our Programs

Sep 16 2013
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Meet the RWJF Clinical Scholars

This is part of a series of blog posts introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio. The RWJF Clinical Scholars program develops physician leaders to improve health and health care in the United States while preserving a commitment to service and patients.

A number of university professors and deans, hospital CEOs, health commissioners, 45 members of the Institute of Medicine, and even RWJF’s president and CEO have one thing in common: their shared experience as alumni of RWJF’s oldest program, the Clinical Scholars.

“For anyone who wants to be a catalyst for change in the health and health care of our country, the Clinical Scholars program is an excellent opportunity to do so.”

- Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Penn Clinical Scholars program ’83–’86)

Founded in 1969 and adopted by RWJF in 1972, the Clinical Scholars program was created to foster the development of physicians who are leading the transformation of U.S. health and health care through positions in academic medicine, public health, and other leadership roles.

Through this post-residency program which provides two years of master’s degree study, Clinical Scholars learn to conduct innovative research in health policy, health services research, and community-based participatory research (CBPR). In addition, scholars work with communities, organizations, practitioners, and policy-makers on issues important to the health and well-being of all Americans.

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Jul 23 2013
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Meet the Health Policy Fellows Program

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

The RWJF Health Policy Fellows program will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. The program supports exceptional midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists to actively participate in health policy processes at the federal level and gain exclusive, hands-on policy experience. Heralded as the “nation’s most prestigious fellowship at the nexus of health science, policy, and politics,” the Health Policy Fellows program provides health professionals the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill and in the Executive Branch, gaining front-line experience in federal health policy-making and an insider’s perspective on our country’s political process.

Founded in 1973, the program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and sponsored by the Institute of Medicine within the National Academies of Science.

Health Policy Fellows have become some of the nation’s most influential leaders in the health care field. As professors, deans, and presidents at major academic institutions, directors of voluntary health organizations and health professional societies, leaders in state and federal government, and experts at think tank and advocacy organizations, the Fellows are transforming the nation’s health care policy and practice.

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Apr 22 2013
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Meet the Charting Nursing’s Future Policy Brief Series

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

What policies optimize nurses' role in solving the shortage of primary care practitioners? What approaches will promote and incentivize interprofessional education and practice in health care so as to improve the quality and safety of care? What promising state and federal initiatives are likely to achieve the Institute of Medicine's recommendation to increase the proportion of nurses who hold a baccalaureate or higher degree to 80 percent by the year 2020?

These and other crucial issues confronting nursing and the health care system are the focus of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Charting Nursing’s Future policy briefs. Launched in 2005, the series now includes 20 briefs covering a range of topics, including:

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Mar 25 2013
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Meet the Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative

The impact and influence of INQRI’s work is explored in a special supplement of the journal Medical Care which published online this month. A blog carnival related to the supplement is now on the INQRI blog.

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

A deceptively simple intervention has dramatically reduced the incidence of painful pressure ulcers among nursing home residents in Signature Healthcare facilities in Kentucky.  Every two hours, music is played throughout the nursing homes, prompting staff to go and check on residents and either ensure that they move or help them to move. This effective and easy intervention is the result of a study funded by the RWJF Interdisciplinary Nursing Quality Research Initiative (INQRI), which has provided funding to 40 interdisciplinary teams of researchers to investigate the link between nursing and the quality of patient care.

INQRI is the first effort of this size and scope to identify both the ways in which nurses improve the quality of patient care and keep patients safe, and the contributions nurses make to saving lives and keeping patients safer and healthier. INQRI research teams have examined such issues as: depression in nurses; the impact of nurse-to-patient staffing ratios on infection rates and on patient mortality; children’s assessments of hospital nursing care; fall prevention; differences in patient outcomes between Magnet and non-Magnet hospitals; and more. Each team includes a nurse researcher and at least one researcher from another field, such as business, economics, medicine, social work, pharmacy, and psychiatry.

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Feb 12 2013
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Meet New Careers in Nursing

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

A few years ago, Natasha Leland was a professional opera singer. John Pederzolli was in financial sales. And Blake Smith was a high school soccer coach. Today, all are nurses, thanks to support from New Careers in Nursing (NCIN), a program of RWJF and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Since 2008, NCIN has helped facilitate more than 2,700 scholarships for second career nurses entering accelerated degree programs. Thanks to resources and support from NCIN, these students—who are from groups underrepresented in nursing—are quickly entering the workforce, ready to provide high quality patient care and become leaders in the profession.

Before realizing their dreams of becoming nurses, NCIN scholars had a wide variety of professions: customer service, teacher, aviation safety professional, and even professional clown, among others. Each Scholar brings unique life and real-world experience to his or her new career. That makes them well-equipped to handle a fast-paced training program, and the demands of the profession.

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Feb 5 2013
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Meet the RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research

This is part of a series of blog posts introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio. The RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research program supports highly respected and innovative scholars from a wide range of fields to undertake ambitious, cutting-edge studies of significant health policy challenges facing America.

The improvement of health in the United States is a complex undertaking that requires a wide range of health policy research. The prestigious and highly competitive Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research program provides one of the few funding opportunities for outstanding researchers in various stages of career development to explore bold, new ideas for improving the nation’s health and the health care system. The program encourages Investigators to think creatively about the most important problems affecting American health and health care and to contribute to the intellectual foundation of future health policy. The awards have been made to scholars from a broad range of disciplines, including economics, medicine, psychology, law, ethics, political science, public policy, sociology, history, nursing, health services research, and public health.

“It’s been a wonderful, career-changing experience. I do interdisciplinary research working in a medical school, and there aren’t a lot of funding agencies that have such openness to cross-disciplinary research.”

-Aaron S. Kesselheim, MD, JD, MPH, 2009 Awardee

RWJF’s Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research program supports talented researchers by funding projects that produce enduring insights and sophisticated analyses of pressing problems, potential solutions for improving health and health care, and policy-relevant evidence that can inform policy-makers, the media, and the public. Since the program began in 1992, the Foundation has supported 175 projects involving 224 Investigators. Investigators have published more than 100 books.

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Jan 28 2013
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Meet the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research Program

This is part of a series of blog posts introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio. The RWJF  Scholars in Health Policy Research program fosters the development of a new generation of creative thinkers in health policy research within the disciplines of economics, political science, and sociology.

Some of the nation’s most pressing health policy issues—such as the future of the Affordable Care Act, federal funding for medical research, and the health of underserved populations—are being addressed by a group of top scholars who make up the RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research program.

"The program has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to focus 100 percent on my research and to expand my research agenda to questions and topics I wouldn’t have considered otherwise."
- Brigham Frandsen, PhD, Cohort 17 Alumni, Economics

The program, initiated in 1992, was created to attract social scientists—economists, political scientists, and sociologists—to health policy research and analysis and to maintain their commitment to these fields in their future positions. Scholars in Health Policy Research frequently go on to careers in academia, government, and think tanks. By fostering a multidisciplinary approach to health policy, the program leads to innovative collaborations that can ultimately improve the health and health care of all Americans.

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Jan 21 2013
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Meet the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

The Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program
is on the verge of a milestone: it will observe its 30th anniversary this year.  In 2012, the program achieved another notable distinction, as a third alumnus was selected to lead an institute at the National Institutes of Health: Gary Gibbons, MD, (’88) is now director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). He joined Griffin Rogers, MD, MACP, (’83) Director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; and Roderic Pettigrew, MD, PhD, (’83) Director of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Formerly known as the Minority Medical Faculty Development Program, the Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AFMDP) was created to increase the number of faculty from historically disadvantaged backgrounds who can achieve senior rank in academic medicine or dentistry, and who will encourage and foster the development of succeeding classes of such physicians and dentists. AFMDP offers four-year postdoctoral research awards to historically disadvantaged physicians and dentists who are committed to developing careers in academic medicine and to serving as role models for students and faculty of similar background.

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Dec 14 2012
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Meet RWJF New Connections

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

Raphael Travis, DrPH, knows the power of New Connections. For Travis, New Connections’ training events—such as symposiums and coaching clinics—were an important source for professional development in a welcoming atmosphere. He says, “I heard about the actual grants during the training workshop and knew I had to apply. The ambiance was inspiring, welcoming and needed. The combination of a supportive atmosphere and intellectual depth transcended what my home University offered. I was very excited to apply.”

file Raphael Travis, DrPH

Travis, a 2008 grantee, is an assistant professor at Texas State University- San Marcos. His New Connections project uses data collected in the 1997-2002 evaluation of Health Link, a program established to help reduce substance abuse among individuals returning to their New York City community after incarceration at Riker’s Island. The study explores: how positive youth development opportunities relate to recidivism; the relationships among mental health, substance use and recidivism across time points; and the potential cultural uniqueness between African-American and Latino youth.

file Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH

Hector Rodriguez, PhD, MPH, knows the power of New Connections too. For Rodriguez, the program offered training and new research methods that powered his work. Rodriguez says, “New Connections is a fantastic opportunity for underrepresented junior faculty to pursue important public health and health care research, while being connected to a large network of prominent scholars.”

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Nov 19 2012
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Meet the RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico

This is part of a series introducing programs in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital Portfolio.

New Mexico is widely known for its scenic vistas and its rich cultural heritage. Thanks to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), it may soon add its health policy experts to the list of notables. The RWJF Nursing and Health Policy Collaborative at the University of New Mexico is preparing a new generation of diverse, PhD-prepared nurses to meet the nation’s health policy challenges.

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Fellows are exploring a vast array of health care challenges with a specific focus on public policy solutions. Their research ranges from childhood obesity prevention policies, to cost analyses of obstetrical care, to enhanced access to mental and behavioral health, and more.

Through the program, fellows develop a unique understanding of the factors influencing public policy, and learn how they can become a powerful voice in that process.

Earlier this year, two of the program’s fellows, Laura Brennaman, MSN, RN,CEN, and Lauri Lineweaver, MSN, RN, CCRN-CSC, attended the historic Supreme Court oral arguments on the Affordable Care Act. Brennaman was also present in the chamber when the final decision was announced on June 28. The program strives to bring its fellows into events like these, which impart a profound lesson about the interconnectedness of the health care and policy worlds.

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