Change Leaders: A New Network, Engaging Every Sector, to Build a Culture of Health

Feb 12, 2016, 10:00 AM, Posted by

RWJF is opening applications for new programs that support the development of diverse health care leaders as well as leaders from other sectors who can help build health into our communities and the nation as a whole.

Speakers and attendees participate in The Science of Placebo conference at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Harvard Medical School.

Few things inspire me like the challenge to build a Culture of Health in America. But success depends on the skills and creativity of our leaders—their ability to influence, inspire and lead in a rapidly changing world. Many of these leaders must also be part of those communities with limited resources and opportunities, if we are to tackle the pernicious effects of racism, poverty and inequity. They must represent every sector and discipline, recognizing that health is influenced by complex social factors beyond health care. These leaders have to abandon status quo, silos and their assumptions, and create a new reality.

Our Advancing Change Leadership programs continue our decades of work to support the development and diversity of health care leaders, and expands our investment to leaders from other sectors who have the passion, ingenuity and influence required to build health into our communities and nation as a whole. We are building a diverse network of dedicated leaders committed to equity and better health.

These national programs are led by esteemed academic institutions and organizations. Individuals and teams who participate will be prepared to translate their work into building healthy communities, influencing public opinion and policy, and contributing significantly to building a Culture of Health. They will come from health and health care, architecture and transportation, education and faith, community organizing and policy change, and many other perspectives. Collaborating across sectors and backgrounds, they will build bridges between health care and other factors that shape people’s lives and health where they live, learn, work and play.

This is change leadership—preparing leaders to adapt and innovate in a rapidly evolving and increasingly complex landscape—and it is a crucial step in building a Culture of Health.

If you continuously seek out ways to increase the health and equity of your community, seek systemic solutions, and refuse to accept problems as intractable, we need you. Please consider applying for one of these programs. And if you know people who fit this description, please encourage them to apply.

  • Health Policy Research Scholars is for first- and second-year doctoral scholars from underrepresented communities. It provides dissertation support, research training and skill building in health policy, health equity and population health; participate in leadership development trainings; and establish and strengthen professional ties to public health and industry leaders.  

  • Interdisciplinary Research Leaders applies research to spur on-the-ground change. Research teams, including researchers from different disciplines and backgrounds, collaborate on solutions to entrenched problems.  

  • Culture of Health Leaders engages professionals to create cross-discipline, collaborative solutions to health inequities. The program places particular emphasis on cooperation, inspiring communities, and influencing local and national conversations. Participants represent diverse disciplines such as education, transportation, technology, public health and public policy, business, health care, community development and urban planning.

  • Clinical Scholars participants are clinically active health care providers who have attained the highest possible degree in their field. Most work in interprofessional teams that include nurses, physicians, pharmacists and leaders in other fields. The program accepts individual applicants.

Each program includes leadership training; advanced curriculum in health policy, community engagement, health equity and other topics; interdisciplinary collaboration, networking and mentoring; and funding through stipends and grants. All have a guiding commitment to diversity and equity, inviting participants and projects that represent a mix of race, ethnicity, gender identity, ability, age and socioeconomic status. Participants do not need to relocate; they will work and learn from their home community, collaborating via a few in-person convenings and a robust virtual learning system.

Get ready for a new generation of leaders who are willing to think, work and collaborate in unconventional ways to take their influence and impact to new levels. Get ready for a Culture of Health! 

Pamela S. Dickson, MBA is an associate vice president for program staff at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation who is using the Foundation's unique vantage point to leverage resources that can improve health and health care nationwide.