Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces its 2013–2014 Health Policy Fellows

    • July 15, 2013

Princeton, N.J.—The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the selection of six leading health professionals from across the country to join this year’s cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows program. The program supports exceptional midcareer health professionals and behavioral and social scientists to actively participate in health policy processes at the federal level and gain exclusive, hands-on policy experience. The fellows hold a range of expertise in fields spanning nutrition science to oncology and will utilize their academic, public health, clinical, and community-based experience to support the formation of health policy on Capitol Hill.

“The RWJF Health Policy Fellowship provides firsthand experience in the legislative process that shapes federal policy to improve public health and health care,” says Marie E. Michnich, DrPH, director and alumna of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program. “As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the program this year, we recognize its legacy in attracting some this nation’s most talented professionals in health and health care. Our 2013–2014 fellows continue to raise the bar, and as with past fellows, their experience on the Hill will enhance their leadership roles at the local, state, and federal level.”

This year’s fellows include the following.

  • Amir Afkhami, MD, PhD, is assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Global Health and associate director of Psychiatry Residency Training at the George Washington University.
  • Nadine Braunstein, PhD, RD, is the director of Allied Health in the College of Health Professions at Towson University.
  • Wendi Gosliner, PhD, MPH, RD, is a nutrition specialist at the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Center for Weight and Health at the University of California, Berkeley.
  • Shannon Hader, MD, MPH, is vice president and director of the Center for Health Systems and Solutions at Futures Group in Washington, D.C.
  • Ronald Kline, MD, is medical director of the Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada.
  • Maria-Rosa Watson, DDS, MS, DrPH, is epidemiologist and research director at the Primary Care Coalition of Montgomery County, Inc., in Gaithersburg, Md.

“These fellows will develop unmatched leadership skills and become part of an influential professional network,” said Michael Painter, JD, MD, RWJF 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 either a congressional office or the executive branch of the government. Work assignments are supplemented throughout the year with health policy leadership development activities and media training.

RWJF 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 a variety of disciplines in health and health care from across the nation have participated in the program since 1973. Additional information about the RWJF Health Policy Fellows can be found at

Media Contact:

Christine Clayton | Robert Wood Johnson Foundation | | 609-627-5937
Barrett Whitener | IQ Solutions | | 240-221-4347

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

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 health and health care, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. For more than 40 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. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or Facebook at