Statement from Richard Besser, MD, on Response to Tropical Storm Harvey

    • August 30, 2017

The following statement from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is in response to the impact of Hurricane (now Tropical Storm) Harvey on the Gulf Region. For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked on the most pressing health issues facing America.

We at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have been following the devastating effects of Tropical Storm Harvey on parts of Texas, Louisiana, Mexico, and the Gulf Region. On behalf of the Foundation, I wish to express our concern for those who have felt this tragedy personally. For many, your losses are immeasurable.

We anticipate a great need for relief assistance in the region, and we are concerned with the storm’s impact on the most vulnerable people in this area. Health inequities are magnified when public health emergencies strike. To that end, we have been in touch with the CDC Foundation, where RWJF has pre-positioned funds for disaster response.

But we are also deeply committed to long-term recovery for the region. Much of our support will come after the storm’s impact has been more fully assessed. By taking this longer view, we will find recipients for our funds with greater power to help the region rebound. We encourage the public to listen carefully to experts in the region on how to best assist those impacted by the storm, now and in the months and years to come.

Our society is frequently challenged with events that result in losses of life, health, and property. But I am proud to be a part of a dedicated and compassionate community that is ready to listen, and lend a hand, to those in need.

–Richard Besser, MD
  President and CEO
  Robert Wood Johnson Foundation


About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Media Contacts

Jordan Reese

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (609) 627-6322