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Announcing the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Cohort 7

 RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program Selects 2009–2011 Participants

Scholars will Work to Reduce Health Disparities, Improve Health System
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars® Program is pleased to announce the selection of 17 new scholars who will engage in an intensive two-year research program to reduce population health disparities and to encourage improvements in the nation’s health care system.
“At a time of increased national attention to the importance of prevention and the broader determinants of health to effective health care reform, this incoming group of Health & Society Scholars will add to the strong base already established by scholars and faculty in the Health & Society Scholars Program to answer questions critical to the future goals and priorities of the nation’s health care system,” said Jo Ivey Boufford, M.D., co-director with David Vlahov, Ph.D., R.N., of the national program office for the Health & Society Scholars Program and president of The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM). “This program is establishing a strong base of interdisciplinary scholarship which we hope its alumni will pursue throughout their careers.”
Health & Society Scholars for 2009–2011 (cohort 7) will serve in one of six nationally prominent universities—University of Michigan, Harvard University, Columbia University, University of Wisconsin, University of Pennsylvania and University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley. Each year up to 18 individuals who have completed their doctoral training and show outstanding potential are selected to participate in the Health & Society Scholars Program. The scholars will receive a stipend ($86,000 during their first year and $89,000 during their second year).
Participating in the Health & Society Scholars Program for 2009–2011 are Hedwig Lee, Neil Mehta and Kristin Turney (University of Michigan); Summer Hawkins and Jennifer Jennings (Harvard University); Zoe Donaldson, Helena Hansen and Seth M. Holmes (Columbia University); Beth McManus, Christopher McKelvey and Vivian Santiago (University of Wisconsin); Michael Bader, Alison Buttenheim and Jooyoung Lee (University of Pennsylvania); and Nicole Bush, Laura Gottlieb and Janet Tomiyama (University of California, San Francisco/Berkeley).
Starting in August 2009, these new Health & Society Scholars will begin work at their assigned universities. The scholars will be trained to rigorously investigate the connections among biological, genetic, behavioral, environmental, economic and social determinants of health and will work to develop and disseminate information to improve public health.
Health & Society Scholars are selected based on their potential to contribute creatively to the field of population health, demonstrated openness to new ideas, demonstrated critical thinking skills, an active interest in interdisciplinary collaboration, commitment to a career consistent with the program’s purpose and goals and quality of past research.
Previous Health & Society Scholars have conducted research initiatives that have led to policy recommendations such as the reduction of childhood obesity by limiting fast-food marketing; the influence of pharmaceutical advertising on consumers’ health care decisions; the effect of marital status on prenatal health care; and the importance of providing insurance coverage to ensure children’s access to medical services.
The New York Academy of Medicine serves as the national program office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Society Scholars Program, supporting the Foundation’s principle that progress in the field of population health depends upon multidisciplinary collaboration and exchange.                      
The RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program is designed to build the nation’s capacity for research, leadership and policy change to address the broad range of factors that affect health. Additional information about the RWJF Health & Society Scholars Program, including application information, can be found at
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