Summer 2009
From the Director | Updates All Around
What's New | Class of 2009 fellows, Alumni Gathering
Job Notice | Current Opportunities
Where are they now? | Find out what your colleagues have been doing!

2008 Class of Fellows with Governor Mike Rounds of SD

Class of 2008 fellows with Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota


2008 Class of Fellows with Senator Richard Moore of MA

Class of 2008 fellows with Senator Richard Moore of Massachusetts



James R. Gavin III

Dr. James R. Gavin III, a new Advisory Board member


Updates All Around
The Class of 2008 fellows recently visited South Dakota to examine the intersection of state and federal health policy legislation and to gain an understanding of the current political and health policy climate, especially that of the American Indian and rural health care. The visit included meetings with Oglala Sioux Tribe Offices and Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation; key leaders of numerous health and health care organizations; secretaries of three of the South Dakota offices; and Governor Mike Rounds. The three-day trip was extraordinarily enlightening and underscored the complexity of the interface between all parties. You can read an article in the Capitol Journey about the fellows’ meeting with Governor Rounds.

The travel to Massachusetts in the spring provided the fellows with a very different look at the state’s health care and health policy systems. Health Reform was still the topic of discussion as they met with Senator Richard Moore, Commissioner Sarah Iselin of the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and many advocates and key players involved in the state’s health reform process-- including the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Health Care for All, and the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center, among others. Once again, a special thanks to alumnus Jay Himmelstein ('91-'92) and his staff for making this visit possible. This was the third trip in as many years that Jay put together for the fellows, and his effort is much appreciated by the fellows and staff.

While the Class of 2008 wraps up their fellowship year, we also are preparing to welcome ten outstanding new fellows who are eagerly awaited. They were selected from a record number of over 70 applications, and it promises to be a very exciting year in the midst of the ongoing health care reform debate. Please remember that those of you who recommended successful applicants are eligible to have your expenses paid to this year’s Alumni Gathering on Tuesday, October 13th! If you were not successful last year, it is now time to encourage those fantastic colleagues of yours to apply for the 2010-2011 Class! The call for applications will go live in mid-September.

It is my pleasure to welcome a new Advisory Board member, Dr. James R. Gavin III. Dr. Gavin is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Healing Our Village, Inc. and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University and Indiana University.

This year, we will launch a new online application process and will make some changes to make our website even better! Lastly, remember to keep sending us your updates! It is always wonderful to hear from you and to learn about all you do to make a difference. And don’t forget to update your profile by logging in at


Welcome 2009-2010 Fellows
The National Program Office would like to introduce the 2009-2010 RWJF Health Policy Fellows to the community of alumni and friends.  The fellows are:

  • Andrew Bindman, MD
  • Gustavo Cruz, DMD, MPH
  • Sheldon Fields, PhD, RN, FNP-BC, AACRN, FNAP, FAANP
  • David Keller, MD
  • Janet Leigh, BDS, DMD
  • Gregg Margolis, PhD, NREMT-P, MS
  • Mark Schwartz, MD
  • Barbara Tobias, MD
  • Margaret Wilmoth, PhD, RN, FAAN
  • Shale Wong, MD, MSPH
Read more about the fellows.

Alumni Gathering
Hosted by the Class of 2007 fellows, the 2009 Alumni Gathering will be taking place this year on Tuesday, October 13th, at the Keck Center of the National Academies, 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC, in conjunction with the IOM Annual Meeting on Monday, October 12th. Online registration for the event will be available in early September, and a link will be posted on our Homepage. Please look for future emails regarding this event.


RWJF Community Health Leaders Call for Applications
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders (CHL) program each year honors 10 outstanding and otherwise unrecognized individuals who overcome daunting odds to improve health and health care, especially to underserved populations in communities across the United States. The program aims to elevate the work of these unsung heroes through enhanced recognition, technical assistance and new leadership opportunities. More details and how to apply.

The application deadline is October 15, 2009.





Louis Diamond







Barbara Kornblau

David Michaels

Howard Rabinowitz


 Robert Ratner

Susan Bennett Johnson
Susan Bennett Johnson (’01-‘02) is the first FSU College of Medicine faculty member to be honored as a Florida State University Distinguished Research Professor. Susan received the same honor when she was a professor at the University of Florida College of Medicine. Read more from the FSU MED Summer 2009 Issue.


Louis Diamond
Louis Diamond (’90-’91) has been named chair of the HIMSS Patient Safety, Quality and Outcomes Committee and vice chair of the eHealth Initiative Policy Steering Committee.  Both committees will have an important advisory and advocacy role in determining the direction of healthcare reform in the United States. Read the full press release.


Sister Rosemary Donley
In August 2009, Sister Rosemary Donley (’77-’78) begins her new position as the Jacques Laval Chair for Justice for Vulnerable People at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.


Jeffrey Geller
Jeffrey Geller (’93-’94) has been elected vice president of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).  Term of office is May 2009- May 2011.


Barbara Kornblau
Barbara Kornblau (’06-’07) has been named the new dean of the UM-Flint School of Health Professions and Studies. Read the full article.




David Michaels
President Barack Obama intends to nominate David Michaels (’93-’94) for Assistant Secretary for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor. Read the announcement.


Howard Rabinowitz
Howard Rabinowitz (’93-’94) has been awarded the Eakins Legacy Sabbatical Leave Fund from Jefferson Medical College for his upcoming sabbatical starting in January for 9 months. Howard was one of two Jefferson faculty who received this competitive award. During his sabbatical, he will be working on the next phase of their 30+ year rural physician workforce research. During part of this time, Howard will be a Senior Scholar at the Robert Graham Center: Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care, in Washington, DC. The Center was named in honor of Robert Graham, M.D., currently the chair of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows Advisory Board, who envisioned the formation of the Center while he served as Executive Vice President of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) from 1985-2000.


Robert Ratner
Robert Ratner (’08-‘09) has started his position as a Program Examiner at the Health Division of the Office of Management & Budget as part of his RWJF Health Policy fellowship after serving as the Study Director for the Comparative Effectiveness Research Prioritization project at the Institute of Medicine.

© 2006 The RWJ Health Policy Fellowships Program
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