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Program Results Report

Field of Work: Building the field of population health

Problem Synopsis: Although the United States spends more for medical care than any other country in the world, it ranks poorly on many indicators of health and well-being. Although experts know that medical care has a limited impact on the health of populations, 95 percent of spending on health in the United States between 1994 and 1998 went to medical care, with 5 percent allocated to population-wide approaches to improving health.

Synopsis of the Work: In 2001, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) established the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars® program to build the field of population health by producing leaders who will change the questions asked, the methods used to analyze problems and the range of solutions offered to improve the health of all Americans.

Key Results: As of May 2014:

  • 181 scholars have participated or are participating in Health & Society Scholars. The program has 156 alumni,  scholars, and one non-graduate who participates in alumni activities. Scholars investigate the connections among biological, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health and develop, evaluate and disseminate knowledge and interventions based upon these determinants.
  • The scholars have broadened their research and career perspectives and choices. They understand the interdisciplinary nature of population health. Many scholars have accepted positions that they would not have chosen had they not participated in the program.
  • Recognition of the field of population health—within the participating universities and more broadly—is growing.

For the complete reports, please click on the following links.