Senior Program Officer
Sheila Reynertson is a senior program officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focusing on making a healthier, more equitable New Jersey. Sheila joined the Foundation in 2023 and brings a unique blend of expertise in public policy including state taxation and budget, economic opportunity, and reproductive healthcare. In her role, Sheila contributes to the Foundation’s New Jersey Department by addressing health disparities through the lens of structural racism paired with intentional building of community power to drive change and advance racial equity. Her work focuses on birth equity through healthcare system change and maternal health policy that centers Black and Brown families. She is also involved with the Foundation’s efforts to advance state policy priorities aimed at having a greater national impact on health and racial equity.
Most recently, Sheila was a senior policy analyst at New Jersey Policy Perspective, a “think and do” tank, conducting research and analysis of sustainable revenue for public support and services that advance racial equity and shared economic prosperity in the Garden State. She led statewide campaigns on issues of tax reform, public goods investment, abortion rights, and accountable economic development. Her research and advocacy led to major improvements to New Jersey’s tax code, corporate tax credit programs, and the protection of and improved access to reproductive healthcare for all New Jersey residents.
Sheila also brings to the Foundation lessons learned from successful community-led campaigns to save essential healthcare services in the face of widespread hospital consolidation and closings across the country. Previously, she helped guide families through childbirth as a birth doula in major New York City hospitals. As a health advocate, she has deep expertise in public health, maternal health, and hospital system trends.
Sheila has a B.A. in Medical Sociology and an M.A. in Health Advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. For over a decade, she has served on the Board of Health in Hopewell, where she lives with her family. Her favorite down time activities include family vacations, music concerts, and flea markets.