Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars - Scholar Connect

Winter 2015

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Desmond RunyanRWJF Clinical Scholars and alumni continue to use many of the skills developed in the program to develop essential public policy and engage in innovative research.

This newsletter features another example of synergy and the use of science to drive policy that reflects the reach and impact of the RWJF Clinical Scholars program. As a nation we have been riveted by the news of Ebola spreading through West Africa and expecting that air travel would inevitably bring the disease to our shores. Americans have been stepping up and volunteering to help control this outbreak and it wasn’t a difficult leap to expect that some Americans would become infected while in humanitarian service. Pundits expected that asking the Armed Forces to help would increase the risk of transport to the US and there were fears among many that Ebola would be introduced as an ongoing problem here. 

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by Virginia Hartman, M.F.A. | Senior Writer, IQ Solutions, Inc. 

Herbert G. Garrison, MD, MPHAs the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH (UCLA CSP 82–84), has been on the front lines of the United States’ response to the Ebola crisis. “We live in a really interconnected world,” she says. “We can’t ignore what’s going on halfway around the world, because it has everything to do with us. The best way to protect people in the United States is to stop this epidemic in West Africa.”

Doctors and other health care workers on the ground in West Africa, she says, need the skills to build effective partnerships, to deal with communication challenges, and, of course, to practice good science. Likewise, coordinating the response in the United States has required a similar skill set. Fortunately, Clinical Scholars, who have just this sort of expertise, have been involved in the effort at every level.

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National Clinician Scholars Program: New Research Training Fellowship for Physicians and Nurses Builds on Clinical Scholars Legacy

Following the decision of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to sunset the current iteration of the Clinical Scholars program after the 2015-2017 cohort, the existing program sites became interested in maintaining the legacy of the program.

The directors and deans of nursing representing the current program sites met in late January to discuss their commitment to continuing the program as a collaborative effort and are currently developing plans to continue their programs as a national cooperative called the National Clinician Scholars Program. The sites plan to recruit a 2016-18 cohort of physicians and nurses with the financial support of their institutions, community partner agencies, and other local and national funders. The application period is expected to open in mid to late February 2015. The eligibility requirements for nurse applicants are currently being developed. The sites hope to expand the training sites to include additional interested medical and nursing schools after the initial cohort. The sites are grateful for the Foundation’s long-time support for their efforts to sustain substantive research training combined with the opportunity to secure a graduate degree and hope to build a connection between a continued site-based research training program and the new leadership programs the Foundation is developing to support the broad vision of a culture of health. LDI Health Economist posted an article about the meeting.

For more information about the site efforts please contact Carol Mangione, Rod Hayward, David Asch, and Cary Gross


Scholars and Alumni in Annals of Internal Medicine

The November supplement to Annals of Internal Medicine highlights work by Clinical Scholars that describes low-cost system-level or community-partnered health care innovations to improve quality of care. The supplement features 10 articles authored by Clinical Scholars alumni and faculty.  A special thanks to David Krol, RWJF senior program officer, for supporting the NPO’s purchase of the issue. Additional thanks goes to UCLA CSP co-director Carol Mangione who served as lead editor for the issue and to UCLA CSP Site Administrator Cristina Punzalan who provided key coordination for the issue. 

Read the press release or the post on the RWJF Human Capital Blog to learn more about the special issue.

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December 2014 issue of Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Alumna Rebekah Gee (Penn CSP) discusses the history of obstetrician-gynecologists in the RWJF Clinical Scholars program in the December 2014 issue of Current Opinion in Obstetrics and Gynecology. The issue highlights the work of several clinical scholar graduates and demonstrates their diversity of interests and career pursuits that span technology, health systems, leadership, and ethics. 

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We look forward to seeing our scholars, alumni, faculty, staff, NAC, and community partners at the 2015 Clinical Scholars annual meeting in Seattle, WA.

November 2-5, 2015
Sheraton Seattle Hotel
1400 6th Avenue
Seattle, WA

We will issue an online call for alumni abstracts May 1, 2015 with a deadline of May 31, 2015. The planning committee will make selections in June. 

2015 Clinical Scholars Annual Meeting
Photo from


RWJF Clinical Scholars Fleece Vests and Pullovers

If you missed the first round of LL Bean fleece orders through the program sites, there is still a chance for individual purchases. You can choose a vest or pullover in either alloy gray or collegiate blue.



2014 Clinical Scholar Alumni Survey

The RWJF Clinical Scholars National Program Office (NPO) is interested and engaged in the success of scholars and alumni. The NPO would like to be able to speak about our scholars and alumni in a meaningful, data driven way. Therefore, the NPO is reaching out to scholars and alumni to collect information annually that can be shared with fellow scholars, alumni, and Foundation staff.

Following feedback from participants last year, we have greatly reduced the length of the survey and broadened the focus to include all alumni contributions to their respective fields, not only academic. Keep an eye out for an email with an invitation to take the survey. You can also take the survey by clicking here.


Several scholars and alumni connected at AcademyHealth’s National Health Policy Conference, February 9-10, 2015 in Washington, DC.

From left to right: Loren Robinson (Penn Scholar), Pooja Mehta (Penn Scholar), Kristin Kan (Michigan Scholar), Brendan Carr (Penn CSP 06-08), and Rebekah Gee (Penn CSP 06-09)

Scholars and alumni also gathered at the Clinical Scholars 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, from November 3-6, 2014.

From left to right: Brita Roy (Yale Scholar), Mark Silvestri (Yale Scholar), Carley Riley (Yale Scholar), Brian Jenssen (Penn Scholar)

From left to right: Lucinda Leung (UCLA VA Scholar), Keith Hermanstyne (UCLA Scholar), Priya Batra (UCLA Scholar), Jeffrey Hom (Penn VA Scholar), Suratha Elango (Penn Scholar), and Reshma Gupta (UCLA VA Scholar)



This section contains updates from Current Scholars around the country, featuring awards and accomplishments, presentations, publications and press, and life updates.

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Keep up with former CSP Scholars! See how alumni are advancing health and health care through awards and accomplishments, presentations, publications and press, and life updates.



Visit this page to view job postings for scholars and alumni.

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Alumni and Scholars: Please update your profile in the directory! We need up to date information to reach you and to maximize the searching you can do in the directory. If you forgot your username and/or password, please contact


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