To Improve Health and Health Care, Volume XV

Editors: Steven L. Issacs and David C. Colby


Risa Lavizzo-Mourey

An excerpt: "As I look back over 40 years, I think it is fair to say that we have remained faithful to the vision of our original Board and staff. Even though these are difficult times for those of us committed to improving health and health care throughout the United States, I am proud of our legacy and all that we have accomplished. Over the years, as Stephen Isaacs and David Colby point out in their editors' introduction, the Foundation has had an impact: occasionally at the policy level, sometimes at the program level, and often at the individual level."


Significant and Long-Lasting Change

Editors' Introduction by Stephen L. Isaacs and David C. Colby

An excerpt: "The publication of this Anthology volume marking the 40th anniversary of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, seemed like a good time to look back and consider where the Foundation has had its greatest impact in improving health and health care—that is, where it has helped bring about significant and long-lasting change—and what elements led to the Foundation's having had that impact. In other words, what are the approaches that characterize the Foundation's work over four decades and have led to the Foundation's effectiveness in areas ranging from tobacco control to emergency medical services and from palliative care to nursing."

"No single element explains why some Foundation efforts have a positive impact  or even change a field. Sometimes success comes through an influential person taking an interest, circumstances coming together, or simply dumb luck. Successful change is not always, nor even usually, a rational, linear process. But there do seem some elements at play."