Position: President and Chief Executive Officer
The California Endowment
Health and Human Services Agency, San Diego County
Clinical Scholar: 1988–1990, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia
Research Project: "Implementation of a School-Based Clinic"
Clinical Specialties: Pediatrics, Public Health
Prior to becoming a Clinical Scholar, Robert Ross served for three years as a pediatrician in the National Health Services Corps in Camden, N.J. After his Clinical Scholars training, Ross joined the Philadelphia Department of Health, eventually becoming the director of the department. He served as a consultant to the Philadelphia School District's Children's Health Initiative and as a member of the New Jersey Governor's Commission on Health Care Costs. He has testified before the U.S. Senate on the role of prevention in public health and on childhood immunization issues. From 1994 to 2000, he was the director of the Health and Human Services Agency in San Diego, California's second largest city. He has been a strong advocate on children's health issues in that multi-cultural community. He is now the president and chief executive officer of the California Endowment, a philanthropy that focuses on advancing multicultural health issues in the state of California.
The program directors were very supportive of me developing a learning module [a Government Administration Master's degree] that was tailor-made to my interests—very supportive of what was a very different approach. One of the things the Clinical Scholars program was famous for was for the idea of information exchange, not only among scholars but with faculty as well. It gave us the ability to float an idea that may seem crazy but may not be, and a comfort level with new ideas that came from being given permission to think creatively and out-of-the-box. And there were some very smart people in the neighborhood at all times who understood the intellectual rigor of turning data into policy. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program was a pivotal, career-shifting experience for me.