Programs' Progress

    • September 6, 2012

New Connections Hosts Sixth Annual Symposium
New Connections hosted a diverse group of researchers and evaluators at its Sixth Annual Symposium in Princeton, N.J. The program was honored to have John Rich, MD, MPH, and Debra Perez, PhD, MPA, MA, co-chair the event. The symposium featured numerous scientific and professional development sessions, as well as a Speed Mentoring event where early-career scholars were paired with several senior researchers.

View a recording of Dr. Rich’s plenary address at the symposium and read the social media conversation that occurred throughout the symposium on Storify.

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Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College Sponsors Summer Programs
The RWJF Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College held the 2012 Summer Institute on Health Policy, a four-week intensive, accelerated course on topics related to health policy and the social sciences taught by an impressive lineup of nationally renowned health policy scholars, from May 29–June 22, 2012. Over 100 students and faculty from nine different universities participated, including Meharry Medical College, Vanderbilt University, Tennessee State University, the University of New Mexico, California State University, Johns Hopkins University, Rutgers University, the University of Rochester, and the University of Michigan. The Center also served as host to doctoral fellows from the RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (CHP-UNM) in Albuquerque, N.M. In addition, 15 students and faculty joined via videoconference for select course sessions. These students and faculty were from CHP-UNM and Project L/EARN at Rutgers University.

Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico Co-Sponsors Summer Training Program
The RWJF Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico (UNM) and the UNM Department of Economics co-sponsored, from June 17 to July 28, the American Economic Association’s (AEA) Summer Training and Minority Fellowship Program. The program is an intensive, six-week curriculum designed to train undergraduates from underrepresented backgrounds to prepare for graduate school, with a focus on economics. The AEA program was developed in 1974 and will be hosted at UNM during the summers of 2012–2014. The UNM economics department and the RWJF Center for Health Policy are dedicated to shaping the future of our nation by increasing the diversity of its leaders.

Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico Announces New Doctoral Fellows for 2012–2013
The Center is proud to announce the addition of three new doctoral scholars to its program: Joaquin Rubalcaba, pursuing a PhD with the Department of Economics; Lisa Sanchez, pursuing a PhD with the Department of Political Science; and Carmela Morales-Roybal, pursuing a PhD with the Department of Sociology.

Clinical Scholars Program Welcomes the 2012–2014 Incoming Class
In July, 26 of the country’s most promising physician leaders began their two-year Clinical Scholars fellowships. The new scholars will address a range of issues, including youth violence prevention, the impact of robots in surgery, childhood obesity, mental illness, and the expansion of primary care in the United States.

The Clinical Scholars program is also proud to announce the 2013–2015 cohort of Clinical Scholars.

Health & Society Scholars Program Releases Call for Applications
The RWJF Health & Society Scholars program is accepting applications for its 2013–2015 cohort until September 21, 2012 (3pm EDT).

Each year, the highly competitive program provides two years of support to postdoctoral scholars at all stages of their careers to build the nation’s capacity for research and leadership to address the multiple determinants of population health and contribute to policy change.

The program is based on the principle that progress in the field of population health depends upon multidisciplinary collaboration and exchange. Its goal is to improve health by training scholars to investigate the connections among biological, genetic, behavioral, environmental, economic, and social determinants of health, and to develop, evaluate, and disseminate knowledge, interventions, and policies that integrate and act on these determinants to improve health.

Studies conducted by Health & Society Scholars have discovered how health is influenced by financial debt, sexual orientation, race, environment, poverty, and many other societal factors.

Information on the Health & Society Scholars application process is available on

Health & Society Scholars Program Names Jonathan M. Samet as New NAC Chair
Jonathan M. Samet, MD, MS, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist, and professor and Flora L. Thornton Chair for the Department of Preventive Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, is now the chair of the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program National Advisory Committee (NAC).

Samet has investigated major health issues using epidemiology. His research has focused on the health risks of inhaled pollutants—particles and ozone in outdoor air and indoor pollutants including secondhand smoke and radon. He also has investigated the occurrence and causes of cancer and respiratory diseases, emphasizing the risks of active and passive smoking.

In addition, Samet is the director of the University of Southern California Institute for Global Health, and has served as president of the Society for Epidemiologic Research and of the American College of Epidemiology. He has edited the American Review of Respiratory Disease, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and Epidemiology. Samet replaces Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, president of the Institutes of Medicine, who chaired the NAC for nearly a decade. Fineberg ended his chairmanship in July.

New Connections Releases Seventh Call for Proposals
New Connections has released its seventh Call for Proposals targeting early- to mid-career scholars in health and health care. New Connections aims to enhance the research and evaluation capacity of researchers and consultants from historically underrepresented groups, and to infuse diverse perspectives into RWJF programming areas.

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