Category Archives: Grant Awards

Feb 25 2013

Honors, Awards, Accomplishments...

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees.

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, PhD, a member of the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program National Advisory Committee, was elected to the National Academy of Education.

RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus David J. Shulkin, MD, has been named chair of the board of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals. Shulkin is president of Morristown Medical Center and vice president of Atlantic Health System.

Flavia Peréa, PhD, an alumna of the RWJF New Connections program, was recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a “2013 Emerging Scholar.”

Health & Society Scholars alumna Janxin Leu, PhD, joined HopeLab as Director of Product Innovation, where she will direct the Lab’s “new initiative to promote human resilience and inner values through social-tech innovation.”

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has approved the UNC School of Nursing’s proposal to add the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to its graduate clinical offerings. Two RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumnae were instrumental in ensuring the proposal’s approval: School of Nursing Dean Kristen M. Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, and newly-appointed DNP program director Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, RN, CFNP, CANP.

Kevin B. Johnson, MD, MS, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor, chair of Biomedical Informatics, and a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has joined the RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program National Advisory Committee.

Read more

Oct 4 2012

Honors, Awards, Accomplishments...

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees.

RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, was named to Forbes’ annual list of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.” The list includes political leaders, corporate executives, top government officials, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, and a first lady.

Susan Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF senior adviser for nursing and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, is one of the recipients of the National League for Nursing President’s Award. The award recognizes Hassmiller’s “significant contributions to advancing the health of the nation through excellence in nursing education and practice.”

As part of its Injury Center’s 20th Anniversary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched the "20 for 20 Project" to honor those who have been innovators in the field of violence and injury prevention. Among those honored: Jacquelyn Campbell, PhD, RN, FAAN, Nurse Faculty Scholars program director, and three alumni of the Clinical Scholars program: David Grossman, MD, MPH, Art Kellerman, MD, MPH, FACE, and Fred Rivara, MD, MPH.

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, recipient of an Investigator Award, has been named the next president of the Commonwealth Fund. His term will begin January 1, 2013.

RWJF Community Health Leader Dana Harvey, MS, has been honored as a White House “Champion of Change” for her work providing organic and locally grown foods in a neighborhood without a full-service grocery store.

Read more

Aug 31 2012

Federal Nursing, Health Care Workforce Grants Announced

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) this week announced more than $100 million in new grants to expand and strengthen the nation’s health care workforce. The goal of the funding is to educate and strengthen training for health care workers, and provide fellowships and traineeships.

The grants include:

Nursing ($30.2 million): Partial loan forgiveness for students who serve as full-time nursing faculty for a designated period of time after graduating from a master’s or doctoral program; grants for schools of nursing to provide financial aid and mentoring to students from disadvantaged backgrounds underrepresented in nursing; and funding for nurse anesthetist traineeship programs for licensed registered nurses enrolled in master’s or doctoral nurse anesthesia programs.

Dental ($3.0 million): Grants to increase oral health care education capacity for programs that train future faculty in general, pediatric, or public health dentistry, or in dental hygiene.

Public Health ($48.0 million): Funds for 37 Public Health Training Centers to train current and future public health workers in basic health skills and key public health issues; and grants to expand public health training programs and support medical residency-type fellowships at state and local health departments.

Interdisciplinary and Geriatric Education ($6.6 million): Grants for projects to train and educate workers to provide geriatric care for the elderly; and support for the collaboration and integration of public health curricula in medical and clinical education.

Centers of Excellence ($18.8 million): A five-year program to support the recruitment and performance of underrepresented minority students entering health careers, and to support research and the development of curricula, training and resources related to minority health issues.

“These grants and the programs they support are vital to achieving a comprehensive and culturally competent health professions workforce capable of meeting future health care challenges,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a statement announcing the funds.

Learn more about the new federal grants here and here.

Aug 23 2012

Nine States Receive RWJF Grants to Build More Highly Educated Nursing Workforce

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Academic Progression in Nursing (APIN) program this week announced that California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Texas and Washington state have been chosen to receive grants to advance state and regional strategies aimed at creating a more highly educated, diverse nursing workforce. Each state will receive a two-year, $300,000 grant. 

The states will now work with academic institutions and employers on implementing sophisticated strategies to help nurses get higher degrees in order to improve patient care and help fill faculty and advanced practice nursing roles.  In particular, the states will encourage strong partnerships between community colleges and universities to make it easier for nurses to transition to higher degrees.

In its groundbreaking report, The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level or higher by the year 2020.  At present, about half of nurses in the United States have baccalaureate or higher degrees.

Read more

Aug 9 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Ambulance diversion, hospital delirium, nursing leadership, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

Twenty nurses from across the country have been selected as RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows for 2012, the Foundation announced this week. This diverse group will participate in a three-year, world-class leadership development program that is enhancing nurse leaders’ effectiveness in improving the nation’s health care system. Read more about the new cohort on

RWJF Health & Society Scholar Aric Prather, PhD, continues to receive media coverage for his study finding that patients’ lack of sleep could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines. Among the outlets to report on the findings: United Press International, the New York Times Well blog, the Scientific American, and CBS News.

A paper released this week by Health & Society Scholars alumna Elizabeth Rigby, PhD, MA, looks at what can best predict a state’s resistance to the health reform law, the Washington Post Wonk blog reports. In states asked to make the most drastic changes under the law, and with greater public opposition—which was largely driven by the party affiliation of the state’s elected officials—resistance was higher, she concluded.

Renee Y. Hsia, MD, MSc, an RWJF Physician Faculty Scholar, is the lead author of a study that finds emergency department overcrowding and ambulance diversions are more likely to happen at hospitals in areas with large minority populations. “If you pass by a closer hospital that is on diversion for a hospital 15 minutes down the road, you are increasing the amount of time the patient is in a compromised situation,” Hsia told Health Canal. Read a post Hsia wrote for the RWJF Human Capital blog about her research.

Almost half of adults with type 2 diabetes report acute and chronic pain, according to a study led by RWJF/U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Physician Faculty Scholar Rebecca Sudore, MD. Health Canal reports on the findings and the authors’ recommendations, which include making palliative care part of standard management of the disease.

Read more

Jul 31 2012

Unprecedented Federal Investment in Training Advanced Practice Registered Nurses

On Monday, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced a four-year, $200 million investment to support the training of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). The move was lauded by leaders of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the Center to Champion Nursing in America.

The Secretary went to Duke University’s School of Nursing to announce that the Graduate Nurse Education Demonstration program will reimburse costs associated with training APRNS (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse specialists) at five networks of hospitals, nursing schools, and community-based clinics and health centers.  They are:  the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia; Duke University Hospital, in Durham, N.C.; Scottsdale Healthcare Medical Center, in Ariz.; Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, Ill.; and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center Hospital, in Houston, Texas.

The goal, officials said, is to help these highly skilled nurses gain the skills necessary to provide primary and preventive care for Medicare beneficiaries, including in underserved communities.

“This announcement marks a historic moment of investment in the crucial and growing role of nurses in our health care system,” RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, said. “With 8,000 baby boomers turning 65 and qualifying for Medicare daily, patients everywhere can benefit from the expertise of advanced practice nurses and the expanded access to care they potentially can provide. The decision to extend Medicare funding to nurses recognizes the urgent need to expand the workforce to care for the growing population of Medicare recipients.”

“This relatively modest investment will pay big dividends for consumers by preparing more highly skilled nurses to provide care when and where it is needed,” agreed Susan Reinhard, PhD, RN, FAAN, senior vice president of the AARP Public Policy Institute and chief strategist of the Center to Champion Nursing in America, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and RWJF.  “These new health professionals will improve access to crucial primary, preventive, and transitional care across a range of settings—from the hospital, to the home, to convenient care clinics,”

Half of the clinical training provided at the five demonstration sites must take place in the community, outside of hospital settings.  The aim is to ensure that APRNs have skills to provide primary, preventive and transitional care, and to help patients manage chronic conditions.  The funding is authorized under the Affordable Care Act.

Read a news release about the announcement from RWJF and the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of AARP, the AARP Foundation, and RWJF.

Jun 21 2012

Human Capital News Roundup: Income-based discrimination, nursing education, bans on sugary drinks, and more.

Around the country, print, broadcast and online media outlets are covering the groundbreaking work of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees. Some recent examples:

“As a physician, I have seen the tremendous capabilities of nurses – capabilities that are essential to meeting patient needs,” RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, writes in a June 14, 2012 post on MedScape Today [free subscription]. “But to ensure that they maximize their contributions to health and health care, nurses will need advanced skills and expertise in care management, interdisciplinary teamwork, problem solving, and more. This makes higher levels of education imperative. In addition, having a larger pool of highly educated nurses will be necessary to expand the ranks of nurse faculty, addressing the shortfall that now causes nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants each year. These advanced degree nurses are also needed to help ameliorate the worsening primary care shortage.” The piece was reprinted from Pediatric Nursing.

RWJF Health & Society Scholar Amy Non, PhD, MPH, is the lead author of a study that finds a significant association between low education levels and hypertension in African Americans. The findings debunk the theory that African ancestry plays a role in the disproportionately high rates of hypertension. U.S. News & World Report, Health magazine, and MSN Health are among the outlets to report on the findings. Read more about the study.

United Press International (UPI) and the Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, Wis.) report on a study led by Thomas Fuller-Rowell, PhD, also a Health & Society Scholar, that finds social-class- and income-based discrimination harms child health. Read more about the study.

Read more

Jun 14 2012

Nominations Open for RWJF's Young Leader Awards

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently announced the establishment of the Young Leader Awards: Recognizing Leadership for a Healthier America. The awards will honor young leaders, 40 years of age and under, who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all. Up to 10 awards of $40,000 will be granted to outstanding young leaders.

The Young Leader Awards will recognize emerging leaders who have demonstrated the characteristics needed to improve health and health care through leadership and innovation. These characteristics—a combination of personal attributes, commitment to health and health care, and successful experience—demonstrate an ability to lead and innovate and they signal the potential to become a greater leader in the coming years.

The Young Leader Awards are part of RWJF’s 40th anniversary celebration. Awardees will be announced in October.

To learn more about the qualifications or to nominate a Young Leader, visit

Apr 10 2012

Making Oral Health Care Accessible

Former Health & Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan, MD, penned an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times making the case for devising more effective ways to deliver dental care to poor or rural communities across the nation.

The Secretary notes that, in 2009, 83,000 emergency room visits resulted from preventable dental problems. “In my state of Georgia,” he writes, “visits to the ER for oral health problems cost more than $23 million in 2007. According to more recent data from Florida, the bill exceeded $88 million. And dental disease is the No. 1 chronic childhood disease, sending more children in search of medical treatment than asthma. In a nation obsessed with high-tech medicine, people are not getting preventive care for something as simple as tooth decay.”

He goes on to list several reasons: 50 million of us live in poor or rural areas without a dentist; most dentists do not accept Medicaid; and we have a dentist shortage that will only be exacerbated when 5.3 million children are added to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program by way of the Affordable Care Act.

Sullivan argues that the federal government should put programs in place to train more dentists. But more than that, he argues for training dental therapists “who can provide preventive care and routine procedures like sealants, fillings and simple extractions outside the confines of a traditional dentist’s office.” He says such an approach has been particularly effective in Alaska, where the state has recruited and trained dental therapists to serve many of that state’s most remote communities, including many that are accessible only by plane, dogsled or snowmobile.

A recently announced effort by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) takes aim at the very same problem. The Oral Health Workforce initiative is designed to improve access to oral health care by identifying and studying replicable models that make the best use of the health and health care workforce to provide preventive oral health services.

Read more

Mar 28 2012

It's Spring and Allergy Season is Upon Us. Is our Primary Care Workforce Ready to Meet Patient Needs?

By Nancy Fishman, BSN, MPH and Maryjoan Ladden, PhD, RN, FAAN. Fishman and Ladden are senior program offers at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


Spring is blooming all around us here in central New Jersey and that means nice weather, flowers and a constant search for allergy solutions! For those of us on the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Human Capital team, this brings up several questions about how to use the primary care workforce more creatively. In this scenario, who in the primary care office could help us with our common allergy symptoms? How would we feel if we went in for a visit and didn’t see a health professional but were instead counseled about common over-the-counter treatments by the medical assistant according to standard protocol?

These are questions that seem practical and every day, but tie back to some basic questions about the primary care workforce and how we could be more creative in using all members of that workforce to improve patient access to care and the value of that care.


At the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, we are all aware of the shortage of primary care providers – but short of producing a large number of physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants this instant – we need to get creative with what we have.

To that end, we are thrilled to be launching a new program to identify those practices that are already creatively using their whole office teams in new ways. This program “The Primary Care Team: Learning from Effective Ambulatory Practices” (LEAP) will first identify and then study sites that have succeeded in providing high quality health care and involving all staff in new and creative ways.

We believe that studying these sites will provide us with insights that we can share with other practices that would like to make changes.

Read more