Prestigious Fellowship Brings Real-World Health Experience to Capitol Hill

    • September 1, 2010

Six exceptional health professionals have been selected as this year's Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows. The fellows will utilize their wide range of academic, public health, clinical and community-based experience to provide health policy leadership on Capitol Hill.

"This is an incredible time for health policy at the federal level,” said Marie Michnich, Dr.P.H., director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows program and of Health Policy Education Programs and Fellowships for the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. With the move toward health care reform, the issues and the opportunities have never been greater. Our program brings policy-makers together with health professionals to create policies that will improve the health of Americans."

This year's fellows bring expertise in pediatrics, military health, nursing and nephrology.

  • Echezona Ezeanolue, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor and director of pediatric research at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, developed the only pediatric HIV service and comprehensive maternal-child HIV program in southern Nevada.
  • Jonathan Jaffery, M.D., M.S., associate professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and public health and chief medical officer for the Wisconsin Medicaid program, focuses on improving the relationship between primary care providers and specialists to improve the delivery of care to patients with chronic kidney disease.
  • Matthew Levy, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of clinical pediatrics and medical director of community pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine, developed and implemented multiple programs that reach high-risk children, including the KIDS Mobile Medical Clinic at Georgetown University Hospital.
  • Paul Lipkin, M.D., director of the Center for Development and Learning at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and associate professor of pediatrics at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, oversees a large clinical outpatient program for the diagnosis and treatment of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders and attention, learning and language disorders.
  • Rhonda Ozanian, Ph.D., senior policy analyst to the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force, administers the senior executive leadership council in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that shapes policy and health care delivery, and most recently served as a senior health advisor on the DoD Independent Review Panel Related to Fort Hood.
  • Janice Phillips, Ph.D., is manager of nursing research at the University of Chicago Medical Center and assistant professor and research associate at the Center for Clinical Cancer, Genetics and Global Health, where she conducts breast cancer research with African-American women.

"These fellows develop unmatched leadership skills and become part of a professional network that lasts a lifetime," said Michael Painter, J.D., M.D., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation senior program officer and 2003–2004 Health Policy Fellow. "Once they have completed the program, they return to the field where they put this network and their health policy leadership skills to work."

Each year, fellows are chosen through a highly competitive selection process. They leave their academic settings and professional practices to spend a year in the nation's capital. A three-month orientation program is followed by a nine-month assignment in which fellows work in a congressional office or the executive branch. Work assignments are supplemented throughout the year with health policy leadership development activities and media training.

Health Policy Fellows is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. More than 200 fellows from universities, colleges and other health-related organizations across the nation have participated in the program since 1973.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit