Category Archives: Awards & Accolades

Jul 14 2014

Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing

The Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action has announced a new program to honor nurse leaders who are making a difference in their communities and to develop their leadership skills. The Campaign will be accepting nominations for its Breakthrough Leaders in Nursing award through August 15th.

Nominees must be licensed registered nurses engaged in a state Action Coalition of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action. Nominations can come from any member of a state Action Coalition, the Champion Nursing Coalition, or the Champion Nursing Council.

The ten nurses selected for this honor will receive national recognition and a Leadership Development Program scholarship from the Center for Creative Leadership, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).  

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Apr 2 2014

RWJF Milestones, April 2014

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, grantees and alumni:

Susan B. Hassmiller, PhD, RN, FAAN, RWJF’s senior advisor for nursing and director of its Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, has been named co-chair of the newly formed External Nurse Advisory Board (ENAB) for the Center for Nursing Advancement (CFNA) at UnitedHealth Group. The goal of the ENAB is to “inform, create and evolve nursing best practices, and advance the nursing profession.”

Angelina Jolie has signed on as executive producer of Difret, a film by RWJF Health & Society Scholars alumna Mehret Mandefro, MD, MSc, AB. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January, where it won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award, then went on to receive the Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. The film tells the story of a young Ethiopian girl who challenges the tradition of “telefa,” the practice of abduction in marriage, usually of young girls. Read more about Mandefro’s film.

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) has voted Juliann Sebastian, PhD, MSN, its president-elect. Sebastian, an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumna, is dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing. She will serve as president of AACN from 2016 to 2018. The organization represents more than 740 nursing schools nationwide.

RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumna Jacqueline Stevens, PhD, has been named a 2013 Guggenheim Fellow for the Humanities. Her fellowship is in U.S. History.

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Feb 4 2014

RWJF Milestones, February 2014

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, grantees and alumni:

Former New Orleans Health Commissioner Karen DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, is now leading the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in Washington, D.C. An RWJF Generalist Physician Faculty Scholar alumna, DeSalvo also was recently named one of Governing Magazine’s nine public officials of the year

Brendan G. Carr, MD, MA, MS, assistant professor of emergency medicine and epidemiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has been named director of the federal Emergency Care Coordination Center (ECCC). The ECCC was created by presidential directive to improve national preparedness and response by promoting research, regional partnerships, and effective emergency medical systems. Carr is an RWJF Clinical Scholars alumna.

RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program alumna Ann Cashion, PhD, RN, FAAN, has been named scientific director of the National Institute of Nursing Research’s (NINR) Division of Intramural Research. Cashion was formerly a senior advisor to the NINR Office of the Director. Cashion’s research expertise focuses on genetic markers that predict clinical outcomes.

Pamela Jeffries, PhD, RN, ANEF, has been named the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing’s first vice provost for digital initiatives. Jeffries, a professor and associate dean for academic affairs, will remain on the faculty at the School of Nursing. She is an RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program alumna.

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Oct 23 2013

RWJF Milestones, October 2013

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows, grantees and alumni:

Patrick Conway, MD, an alumnus of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program, has been named deputy administrator for innovation and quality at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Conway will continue to serve as the CMS chief medical officer and director of the CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality.

President Barack Obama has named John Friedman, PhD, to the National Economic Council as a special assistant to the president for economic policy. Friedman is an assistant professor of public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he has worked on a wide range of topics, including taxation, health care, and education. He is an RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus.

Maureen G. Phipps, MD, MPH, an alumna of the Clinical Scholars program, became the new chair of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and assistant dean for teaching and research on women’s health at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University on September 1. She was also named chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and executive chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Care New England.

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Oct 21 2013

Health Leaders Laud Hassmiller’s Election to the Institute of Medicine

Susan B. Hassmiller, senior adviser for nursing at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and director of the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine (IOM), the venerable institution announced this morning. It is one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Hassmiller shapes and leads RWJF’s strategies to transform the nursing profession to improve health and health care. She joined RWJF in 1997. In 2009, she received the Florence Nightingale Medal, the highest international honor given to a nurse by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Read more about Hassmiller’s election to the IOM.

Among the IOM’s 80 new members are two other nurses: Beverly Louise Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, CEO, National League for Nursing, New York City; and Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, PhD, RN, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, associate vice president for health promotion, College of Nursing, Ohio State University, Columbus.

Established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences, the IOM is widely recognized as a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on health issues.

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Jul 15 2013

RWJF Fellow Named White House "Champion of Change"

Laura Anderko, an alumna of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Executive Nurse Fellows (ENF) program (2005-2008), received a prestigious honor from the White House last week for her work to protect health in a changing climate.


The Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Endowed Chair in Values Based Health Care at the School of Nursing & Health Studies at Georgetown University, Anderko was named a “Champion of Change” by the White House. On July 9, she and 10 other “champions” who work at the intersection of the climate and public health attended an event with top government officials to discuss their work.

Anderko, PhD, RN, said in an interview that she was “honored, thrilled, and surprised” to receive the recognition and added that the honor will help raise awareness of the health implications of climate change. My hope, she said, is that this award helps this issue gain “more prominence in the minds of society, not just in America, but globally.”

The ENF program had a “huge impact” on my career, she added. It allowed me to “really immerse myself in environmental health” and taught me to “think big and consider unusual and unlikely partners”—a theme she addressed during the July 9 event at the White House.

“Champions of Change” are recognized by the White House for their work in a wide range of fields. The program was created as an opportunity for the administration to recognize American individuals, businesses and organizations that are “doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities.”

“Laura Anderko is making strong efforts to change her community’s ways on treating the environment and is leading the way on climate and health,” a White House release stated.

Learn more about Champions of Change here.

May 30 2013

RWJF Clinical Scholars Named “Most Influential Physician Executives”

Modern Healthcare’s “50 Most Influential Physician Executives in Healthcare” this year includes eight alumni of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars program. The honorees included on the annual list are chosen by readers and the senior editors of the publication “for their leadership in the varied sectors of the industry, whether provider organizations, government agencies, associations, insurers or supplier companies.”

The Clinical Scholars alumni included this year are:

  • Kelvin Baggett, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer, Tenet Healthcare Corp. (Dallas, Texas);
  • Mark Chassin, MD, president, Joint Commission (Oak Brook Terrace, Ill.);
  • Patrick Conway, MD, chief medical officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and director, CMS Center for Clinical Standards and Quality (Baltimore, Md.);
  • Elliott Fisher, MD, MPH, director, Center for Population Health and director, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (Lebanon, N.H.);
  • Gary Gottlieb, MD, MBA, president and CEO, Partners HealthCare (Boston, Mass.);
  • Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Princeton, N.J.);
  • Reed Tuckson, MD, FACP, executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group (Minnetonka, Minn.); and
  • Robert Wachter, MD, professor and associate chairman, Department of Medicine, University of California at San Francisco (San Francisco, Calif.).

See the full list.

Feb 25 2013

Honors, Awards, Accomplishments...

The following are among the many honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) leaders, scholars, fellows and grantees.

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, PhD, a member of the RWJF Health & Society Scholars program National Advisory Committee, was elected to the National Academy of Education.

RWJF Clinical Scholars alumnus David J. Shulkin, MD, has been named chair of the board of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals. Shulkin is president of Morristown Medical Center and vice president of Atlantic Health System.

Flavia Peréa, PhD, an alumna of the RWJF New Connections program, was recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a “2013 Emerging Scholar.”

Health & Society Scholars alumna Janxin Leu, PhD, joined HopeLab as Director of Product Innovation, where she will direct the Lab’s “new initiative to promote human resilience and inner values through social-tech innovation.”

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has approved the UNC School of Nursing’s proposal to add the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree to its graduate clinical offerings. Two RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows alumnae were instrumental in ensuring the proposal’s approval: School of Nursing Dean Kristen M. Swanson, PhD, RN, FAAN, and newly-appointed DNP program director Debra J. Barksdale, PhD, RN, CFNP, CANP.

Kevin B. Johnson, MD, MS, the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor, chair of Biomedical Informatics, and a professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, has joined the RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program National Advisory Committee.

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Jun 18 2012

Honors, Awards, Accomplishments...

The following are among the honors received recently by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) scholars, fellows and grantees.

Several RWJF scholars were named to the 2012 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellows. They include: RWJF Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research recipients Amy Finkelstein, PhD, MPhil, and Joseph Fins, MD; RWJF Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program alumni Griffin Rodgers, MD, MACP, and Emery Brown, MD, PhD; and RWJF Scholars in Health Policy Research alumnus Vincent Hutchings, PhD.

Amy Finkelstein was also named the 2012 recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal in economics, regarded as economics’ most prestigious award. Read an RWJF Human Capital Blog post by Finkelstein.

Debra Ann Toney, PhD, MS, BSN, FAAN, an alumna of the RWJF Executive Nurse Fellows program, is one of 22 Americans selected by Coca-Cola to carry the Olympic Flame in the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay. The torchbearers will carry the flame in and around Oxford, England, July 9 to 11 before the opening ceremony on July 27.

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Jun 14 2012

Nominations Open for RWJF's Young Leader Awards

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) recently announced the establishment of the Young Leader Awards: Recognizing Leadership for a Healthier America. The awards will honor young leaders, 40 years of age and under, who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all. Up to 10 awards of $40,000 will be granted to outstanding young leaders.

The Young Leader Awards will recognize emerging leaders who have demonstrated the characteristics needed to improve health and health care through leadership and innovation. These characteristics—a combination of personal attributes, commitment to health and health care, and successful experience—demonstrate an ability to lead and innovate and they signal the potential to become a greater leader in the coming years.

The Young Leader Awards are part of RWJF’s 40th anniversary celebration. Awardees will be announced in October.

To learn more about the qualifications or to nominate a Young Leader, visit