For twenty years, the Robert Wood Johnson Community Health Leaders program recognized and honored a total of 206 extraordinary individuals who have overcome daunting obstacles to improve health and health care in their communities, especially among society’s most vulnerable populations.
The RWJF Community Health Leaders speak out on their experiences with the program, their community, and the resulting impact on their work to improve health and health care.
Community Health Leaders often work to mitigate the negative effects of the social determinants of health, factors outside the health care system that affect the health of all Americans - especially the most vulnerable.
From preventing violence and providing stable housing to bridging health and health care, these leaders strive to address the social needs of those in their communities to give those at greatest risk their best opportunity to live healthy, productive lives.
Through 2012, 206 leaders from 47 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have received the Community Health Leaders award, funding projects that provided information and resources for cancer patients living in rural areas of California, created sports programs for Chicago youth to keep them safe from gang violence, organized Asian citizens in the San Francisco Bay Area to assert their right to health care, and more.Read the report
“Community Health Leaders are characterized by three specific traits—they are courageous, they are creative, and they are committed,” says National Program Director Janice Ford Griffin.Read leaders' stories
Community Health Leaders are working in communities to improve health for underserved populations
Dateline NBC profiles LSA Family Health Service's Ray Lopez in 'Breathless,' a look at the impact of asthma on at-risk children.
Community health leader Zane Gates, MD, founded the model for a new health care law in Pennsylvania.Read more
Kimberly Byas-Dilosa is a community advocate working to build a better future for kids.
Tim Lefens gives people with disabilities tools to paint - and a way to be heard.Read more