Lifetime Achievement Award

Established in 2008, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows Lifetime Achievement Award honors and recognizes outstanding alumni for notable and sustained accomplishments in health policy as well as demonstrable commitment to service to others in their public and personal lives.

It is awarded to the person who best demonstrates excellence in his or her dedication to advancing and promoting health and health policy while enhancing the careers of other fellows and alumni.


The award process will be organized and chaired by an alumnus. Up to four additional alumni volunteers, who are representative of the long history of the program, will serve on the selection committee.

Values and Criteria for Selection

An alumnus who:
  • Has made significant contributions in health and health policy as a recognized national or international leader
  • Demonstrates an enduring personal commitment to the advancement and promotion of health and health policy over a long period of time
  • Actively participates in health policy programs or activities at a local, (e.g. institutional or community), state, national, and/or international level
  • Actively mentors, encourages and supports the advancement of others, particularly for other fellows and alumni
Supporting documents for all nominees will include:
  • Curriculum Vitae of the nominee
  • Letter of nomination from an alumnus and at least two additional alumni co-signers
  • Two additional letters of support from those outside the program who are in a position to attest to the nominee’s exceptional contribution to health and health policy

The selection committee will notify the winner by mid-September to assure the winning nominee has sufficient time to plan to attend the Alumni Retreat in October.

Past Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients

Charles “Chip” Rice, MD (’91 – ’92)

Chip is the recipient pf the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 for his visionary contributions to the health and healthcare of all Americans; as an expert clinician and researcher; as an administrator and executive branch policymaker in shaping the course of the nation’s military health system; and in positively influencing the careers of thousands of military physicians, nurse practitioners, dentists, psychologists, and biomedical researchers.

Marie Michnich, DrPH (’84 – ’85)

Marie received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017 for her significant contributions as a national leader in health and health policy; through her role as Executive Director for President George W. Bush’s Commission on Care for America’s Returning Wounded Warriors; in leading four of the nation’s most high profile and prestigious health policy Fellowships; and providing legendary mentorship to fellows, alumni, and colleagues. 

Rita Redberg, MD, MSc (’03 – ’04)

Rita is the recipient of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award for her outstanding health policy leadership in Legislative and Executive Branches of the government and non-profit organizations; her impact on scholarly work in health policy through her role as the Chief Editor of JAMA Internal Medicine; her mentorship of others; and her active role in public education, particular in the areas of heart disease in women. 

Jo Ivey Boufford, MD (’79 – ’80)

Jo received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014 for her dedication to underserved and marginalized populations; her work at the intersection of primary care, community-based approaches, public health, and population health; her ability to turn ideas into action; and the quality of her leadership and contributions in academia as well as at the state, federal, and global levels.

Karen Hein, MD (’93 – ’94)

Karen Hein

Karen received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for exceptional health policy leadership at the federal, state, and local levels, exemplified in her service on the Green Mountain Care Board; developing and implementing ground-breaking health care reform in Vermont; and in her efforts to promote the health of vulnerable populations by creating the first comprehensive HIV/AIDs program for adolescents in the nation.  In addition to her outstanding leadership in health policy, Karen is recognized for her dedication and contributions to the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program as an inspiration and mentor to current and past fellows.

David Michaels, PhD, MPH (’93 – ’94)

David Michaels

David received the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010 for his contributions in protecting the health and safety of nuclear weapons workers as the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety and Health (1998-2001); promoting scientific integrity to safeguard the public’s health and environment; and promoting transparent decision-making as director of The Project on Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy at the George Washington University.

Oliver Fein, MD (’93 – ’94)

Oliver Fein

Oli was selected as the first recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008 for his efforts to promote patient-centered, community-oriented care and his commitment to encouraging the next generation of health care providers to engage in the larger issues of health policy and health care reform in America.  Among other initiatives, he helped lead the efforts of health policy leaders interested in improving care for the most vulnerable populations in New York City and played key roles in the development and expansion of the Society of General Internal Medicine and Physicians for a National Health Plan.

Key Information

2019-20 Call for Applications (CFA) Now Closed 

The 2019-20 CFA is now closed. The next CFA will become available in September 2019. If you submitted an application for the 2019-20 CFA, read about the next steps.