Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Announces Young Leader Awards Winners

On October 26, 2012, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) paid tribute to the winners of the Young Leader Awards: Recognizing Leadership for a Healthier America at a conference in Princeton, NJ. Awards were given to 10 leaders 40 years of age and younger who offer great promise for leading the way to improved health and health care for all Americans. Each winner received an individual award of $40,000.
For 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has been dedicated to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need. As one way to mark their 40th anniversary, RWJF established the Young Leader Awards.
“As we reflected on our accomplishments over the past 40 years, we also wanted to look to the future,” said RWJF President and CEO Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD. “During the relatively short period that our foundation has been operational, these impressive men and women were born and raised and started doing amazing things that can potentially improve the health of all Americans. We’re proud to acknowledge their early success, and inspired by the potential they have to improve U.S. health and health care.”
The 10 RWJF Young Leader Award recipients are:
1.     Ruben Amarasingham, MD, MBA
President and CEO
Parkland Center for Clinical Innovation
Dallas, TX
2.     Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD
Associate Professor of Human Ecology and Africana Studies
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ

3.     Raina Merchant, MD, MS
Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
4.     Rebecca D. Onie, JD
Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Health Leads
Boston, MA
5.     Carmen A. Peralta, MD, MAS
Assistant Professor in Residence
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
6.     Prabhjot Singh, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Director of Systems Design, Earth Institute
            Resident in Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai Hospital
New York, NY
7.     Somava Stout, MD
Vice President of Patient Centered Medical Home Development
Cambridge Health Alliance
            Cambridge, MA

8.     Ashley Atkinson, MSW
Director of Urban Agriculture and Openspace
The Greening of Detroit
Detroit, MI
9.     Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE
Director, Fostering Improvement in End-of-Life Decision Science Program
Deputy Director, Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology, and Medical Ethics & Health Policy
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA
10.  Doran Schrantz
Executive Director
Minneapolis, MN
The Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) helped a diverse panel of established leaders select the award winners from a pool of nearly 850 candidates, based on a vision for health and health care 40 years from now.  The reviewers were David Altman, PhD (Center for Creative Leadership), Esther Dyson (EDventure Holdings), Dean Kamen (DEKA Research & Development Corporation), Denise Koo, MD, MPH (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), David Satcher, MD, PhD (Morehouse School of Medicine) and David R. Williams, PhD, MPH (Harvard School of Public Health).

Jonathan Peck, President and Senior Futurist at the Institute for Alternative Futures and RWJF consultant who directed the Young Leader Awards reflects on the candidates, “We were amazed at the high quality of nominees.  The remarkable young leaders who were selected and all those who were nominated provide us with a strong feeling of hope for the future.”
An additional and complimentary effort to help commemorate RWJF’s 40th anniversary while working toward a healthy future was an invitation-only Futures Symposium convened by RWJF, and designed and facilitated by the Institute for Alternative Futures in June of this year. Recommendations for a healthier future were developed based on a sophisticated set of possible scenarios that are captured in the IAF report Health and Health Care in 2032.
In addition to a national press release and a variety of RWJF network announcements, Health Affairs will publicize the selection of the Young Leader Awards recipients online and through their December 3 publication. Thank you for recognizing the winners and sharing the Futures Symposium report through your networks.
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