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Young Leader Award Winners Announced As RWJF Celebrates Fortieth Anniversary



October 25th, 2012
by Lee-Lee Prina

Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on GrantWatch Blog, Health Affairs Blog’s sister blog.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), based in Princeton, New Jersey, announced the ten winners of an award for young people with “strong potential for future leadership,” who are age forty or younger and are being recognized “for their exceptional contributions to improving the health of the nation,” according to an October 25 press release. Each winner will receive $40,000; these awards will be presented tomorrow.

This is a one-time awards program and ties in with the RWJF’s fortieth anniversary. As the foundation looked to the past to reflect on its accomplishments as it celebrates its anniversary, it “also wanted to look to the future,” to young leaders, born during the foundation’s existence, who have already achieved early successes and have the potential to improve health and health care in the United States, the RWJF’s president and CEO, Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, explained in the release.

Here are just a few fun facts about the award winners. These men and women hail from various regions of the United States; six of the ten hold medical degrees, three of the ten have Ph.D. degrees, and one out of the total group has a law degree. As for professional affiliations, one winner runs a nonprofit coalition of faith congregations, based in St. Paul, Minnesota; several are assistant professors. Go here to read the press release with the full list of winners and short descriptions of their work affiliations. You can also view pictures of the winners.

Nearly 850 people were candidates for the ten awards. So how were the winners chosen? The Institute for Alternative Futures “helped a diverse panel of established leaders select” the winners, “based on a vision for health and health care 40 years from now,” the release explains. David Altman, Esther Dyson, Dean Kamen, Denise Koo, David Satcher, and David R. Williams were the reviewers.

Watch for Health Affairs profiles of the ten award winners in our December issue (the profiles will be published online on November 21).

A Look Back at Some Highlights of the RWJF’s First Forty Years

The well-known RWJF is widely watched by grant-chasers and others. Watch for my upcoming blog post on this important foundation’s work over the years. Read about its interesting early years and some of the people who have played major roles at the foundation.

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