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The Chronicle of Philanthropy Profiles the Pioneer Portfolio

Nov 27, 2012, 10:30 AM, Posted by Beth Toner

Beth Toner Beth Toner

Health care is one of life’s most basic needs. It’s so simple. In recent years, though, the subject of health care has also served to polarize our nation. We all need it, but who’s responsible for making sure we get it? How do we ensure it’s safe, high-quality care? What about cost? Vocal, contentious debate over the answers to these questions—and many more—continues unabated in the United States. Meanwhile, in my work as a volunteer nurse at a clinic for the uninsured, I see patients who continue to lack the means to get even the most basic of care, who struggle with chronic disease in a system that seems to throw up obstacles at every turn.

That’s the bad news.

Here’s the good news: Amidst the unproductive noise, countless innovators from all walks of life are quietly going about the work of solving some of the most intractable problems in health and health care. 

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40 Years of RWJF + 10 Force Multipliers = Young Leaders Transforming the Future

Nov 19, 2012, 9:45 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine E. Nieves Rodriguez Christine E. Nieves Rodriguez

This December marks my first year with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and with the Pioneer Portfolio. Throughout the year, I’ve been amazed by the team’s connection to health and health care innovation, and have been humbled to be part of RWJF as it celebrates its 40th anniversary.

As part of its anniversary celebration, RWJF announced its inaugural Young Leader Awards. I was excited that RWJF chose to honor 10 leaders, 40 and under, who offer promise for leading the way to improved health and health care. The Foundation recently announced the 10 winners who represent great diversity in the future of health care innovation.

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Pioneering Then, Pioneering Now

Oct 25, 2012, 9:09 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

Forty years ago, smallpox still existed. We hadn’t heard the acronyms HIV or AIDS. The Nixon administration had declared war on cancer and was about to introduce America to the health maintenance organization, aka HMO. Meanwhile, a couple of paramedics on a TV show called “Emergency!” and a new philanthropy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, were introducing the nation to the life-saving concept of 911 and another acronym: EMS (emergency medical services).

Four decades later, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, and we are still in the business of searching for solutions that will improve the health and health care of millions. As the Foundation marks its 40th anniversary this week, we remain committed not only to proven, evidence-based strategies, but also to new ideas that push boundaries.

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Innovation and Youth: Tapping Our Young Resources

Jul 11, 2012, 4:21 PM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves Christine Nieves

In youth, everything is possible. Knowledge is fresh and ideas come freely. There are few inhibitions, restrictions, and obligations. And oftentimes, working from 11 a.m. to 4 a.m. is an unquestionable norm. Why? Because we believe, above all else, that our product, our idea, or our approach will be revolutionary and beyond anything out there.

The notion of working around the clock to see an idea come to life is natural, and most importantly, necessary. For our generation of young entrepreneurs and visionaries, there is often little to lose…outside of time. Urgency leads the charge. And although we may not always bring expertise to the table, what we bring is “no fear” for failure. Because we understand that when we fail, we learn. And learning is at the core of innovation.

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Vote for the Most Influential Articles of the Year

Dec 7, 2011, 2:15 AM

It’s time for RWJF’s annual research poll! David C. Colby, vice president of Research and Evaluation, announced the 20 nominees for RWJF’s Most Influential Research Articles of 2011. We are honored that three Pioneer grantees made the list:

Vote for your top 5 Most Influential Research articles of 2011 now and use #Final_5 on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to follow the conversation and let others know which articles you think should make the top five for 2011. Voting ends on midnight of December 23 so act fast! This year’s winners will be announced in the next issue of Evidence Matters to be released in early 2012.