Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows

Understanding the policies that create good health care

Dates of Program: 1973–2014

Description: The RWJF Health Policy Fellows program is the nation’s most comprehensive fellowship at the nexus of health science, policy, and politics. The program enables exceptional mid-career health professionals and social scientists to participate in policy-making in Washington for a year—and to parlay that experience into leadership roles in health policy, health care, and public health.

Key Results

  • As of October 2013, more than 250 people from universities, community-based organizations, national associations, and health-related businesses have been fellows since 1973.

  • Fellows have contributed significantly to the health care policy debate and legislation.

  • The program has had a “significant positive impact on the professional development and advancement of fellows,” according to a 2006 assessment.

“There has not been a piece of health legislation that has gone out of the Congress in the last 40 years that has not been touched by fellows working on them.”—Marie Michnich, DrPH, Program Director

“The Health Policy Fellowship ... takes what you already had built as a career, as a knowledge base and an understanding of your world, and pulls you out of that completely. It throws you into the policy world, this world that is completely different. And then it helps you integrate all this new information you’re learning with what you’ve known before.”—Matthew Levy, MD, 2010–11 fellow

“As a residency program director and community health administrator, interacting with legislators has become a regular and exciting part of my core functions.”—Mario Pacheco, MD, Health Policy Fellow 2000–01