An introductory letter from RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A.
We believe that better information is the basis for better decisions. This commitment to support research and evaluation is embedded in the Foundation’s grantmaking and in our culture. That’s why we make it a point each year to take measure of how well we are living up to the promise of our philanthropy and our mission: to improve the health and health care of all Americans. This is our chance to take stock and demand of ourselves what we demand from our partners and grantees—transparency, performance and accountability. And most importantly, to ask and answer whether we are having impact and making a difference.
For nearly 40 years we have been in the business of making that difference. Our aim is to alter and elevate the trajectory of the health and well-being of all our people and to impel American society to change itself for the better. We are blessed with grantees and partners who, with their own genius and energies, help turn this shared mission into reality for communities, organizations and people across the country.
For our annual Assessment Report we query hundreds of our grantees, stakeholders and industry leaders. We seek the plain, unvarnished truth. And each year we get it! More specifically, we ask them to:
- Rate how our performance compares to other major relevant foundations;
- Provide a reality check on the relevance of our priorities and strategies;
- Judge whether we're having the desired impact; and
- Tell us how we can better serve their needs and missions.
The 2009 Assessment Report is one part of a broader, ongoing internal evaluative effort that helps us change health and health care policy for the better. Other activities include our Program Results Reporting, program evaluations and the RWJF Anthology series. Together, they constitute an ongoing real-time systems analysis that we hope informs and influences the decisions of the Foundation and its partners.
Through this assessment, we are better prepared to help all Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need and to make a difference in our lifetime.