Wendy L. Yallowitz, deputy director and senior program officer, joined the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) in 2001, bringing her expertise in long-term care and services for older adults to the Foundation’s work with vulnerable populations. Drawn to RWJF by “its direction, resources, and the opportunity to make a difference,” she focuses on developing programs that have an impact on individuals’ health at the community level.
Yallowitz has extensive experience and knowledge in mental health, with a concentration on blending social and emotional learning into K–12 education. She specializes in long-term care strategies, such as aging in place, and home and community-based services. Her past work also included emphasis on programs that helped immigrant and refugee communities adjust to life in the United States with the supports they need to improve and maintain health.
Her work expertise includes scaling successful models and identifying the feasibility of adapting these models to other populations, creating innovative programs that respond to current health and health care problems, developing and supporting grantmaking strategies to bridge health and health care, and designing programs that impact hard to reach and underserved populations.
Yallowitz envisions a future “in which we direct greater attention to the social determinants of health that affect the health status of far too many individuals and groups in this country. We need to build a culture of health for all to embrace.”
Yallowitz came to the Foundation from the Jewish Family and Children’s Service in Princeton, N.J., where she created programs to help older adults live independently. In addition to helping the frail elderly, she also developed a Holocaust survivor program and a Kosher Café. Previously, she worked as a family advocate for older adults, as an assisted living facility recreation director, and as a volunteer at senior centers.
She received an MSW in administration, policy and planning from Rutgers University and a BA from West Virginia University. She is a member of Grantmakers in Aging, the American Society on Aging, and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.