Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced 10 winners of its first-ever RWJF Young Leader Awards. The award recognizes leaders who are ages 40 or under for their exceptional contributions to improving the health of the nation. The awards also signal the winners’ strong potential for future leadership.
In recognition of RWJF’s 40th anniversary, Foundation leaders established the RWJF Young Leader Awards to highlight the important contributions that people can make early in their career to improving health and health care for all Americans. The 10 recipients will each receive $40,000.
"As we reflected on our accomplishments over the past 40 years, we also wanted to look to the future," said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. "During the relatively short period that our foundation has been operational, these impressive men and women were born and raised and started doing amazing things that can potentially improve the health of all Americans. We're proud to acknowledge their early success, and inspired by the potential they have to improve U.S. health and health care."
The 10 RWJF Young Leader Awards recipients named today are:
Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA
President and CEO; Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
Ashley Atkinson, MSW
Director of Urban Agriculture and Openspace; The Greening of Detroit
Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE
Director; Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science Program
Deputy Director; Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics & Health Policy;
University of Pennsylvania
Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD
Associate Professor of Human Ecology and Africana Studies; Rutgers University
New Brunswick, N.J.
Raina Merchant, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine; University of Pennsylvania
Rebecca D. Onie, JD
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer; Health Leads
Carmen A. Peralta, MD, MAS
Assistant Professor in Residence; University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif.
Executive Director; ISAIAH
Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs; Columbia University
Director of Systems Design; Earth Institute
Resident in Internal Medicine; Mount Sinai Hospital
New York, N.Y.
Somava Stout, MD
Vice President of Patient-Centered Medical Home Development; Cambridge Health Alliance
The Institute for Alternative Futures helped a diverse panel of established leaders select the award winners from a pool of nearly 850 candidates, based on a vision for health and health care 40 years from now. The reviewers were David Altman, PhD (Center for Creative Leadership), Esther Dyson (EDventure Holdings), Dean Kamen (DEKA Research & Development Corporation), Denise Koo, MD, MPH (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), David Satcher, MD, PhD (Morehouse School of Medicine) and David R. Williams, PhD, MPH (Harvard School of Public Health).
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook www.rwjf.org/facebook.
Ten leaders, age 40 and under, are being honored for their exceptional leadership today, and in anticipation of their likely strong leadership in the future.