Investing in People: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars, Fellows and Leadership Programs

We profile six remarkable grantees representing three key RWJF programs, all shining examples of our support for "human capital."

    • January 26, 2012

Since it first opened its doors 40 years ago, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has sought to invest in people—or “human capital”—who possess the potential to be bold, innovative change agents, capable of improving the health and health care of all Americans.

We'd like to introduce you to six inspiring men and women who are helping to transform health and health care in America. They are doing so by leveraging the valuable experience, insights and mentoring they received as participants in three Robert Wood Johnson Foundation programs.

The three programs featured in this video exemplify this commitment, and the impact it continues to have on health and health care in America.

Clinical Scholars, the Foundation’s longest ongoing program, has trained more than 1,100 physicians over four decades. These competitively selected physicians spend two years engaged in graduate level study and research at four sites around the country: University of Michigan; University of California, Los Angeles; University of Pennsylvania; and Yale University. In addition to research, networking and mentorship opportunities, the program offers leadership training and community-based participatory research. This enables scholars to design research that engages patients as active partners, and to experience how health care is actually delivered “on the ground” while learning firsthand about the impact of policy and the difference their work makes. The program is supported in part through collaboration with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Health Policy Fellows, housed at the National Academy of Science at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., provides midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists a one-year residency working directly on health policy at the federal level. A three-month orientation is followed by full-time work with legislators and their staff. Fellows receive leadership coaching, media training, site visits, and networking opportunities with some of the most important health policy makers of our time. The program instills in Fellows a deep understanding of the role of government—and government policy—in the health of all Americans.

Executive Nurse Fellows is a three-year fellowship for nurses in senior executive roles from fields including public or community health, science and research, corporate health, academia, government, and military health service. Fellows remain in their current positions as they receive training and mentoring. Each fellow designs and implements a leadership project with his or her employer to lead their institution through policy or procedural changes. Leadership development sessions that touch on 20 different competency areas, action learning, executive coaching and mentoring opportunities add up to a life-changing experience that has an impact not only on the fellows but on their institution and colleagues.