Training scholars to tackle health disparities

The Challenge 

The social and environmental conditions of the places where people live, learn, work, and play can affect their health. These conditions also contribute to disparities in the health of various population subgroups (women, children, persons with disabilities, and racial and ethnic groups).

In response to these challenges, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and Johns Hopkins University (JHU) established the Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) program. It’s one of four national leadership programs RWJF established as part of its new national initiative to create the next generation of leaders committed to promoting health equity and better health for all Americans. Westat provided the program with technical assistance and support.

Our Solutions 

  • Our contribution has included
    • Managing the HPRS program during the initial planning period
    • Finding potential contacts in multidisciplinary programs at academic institutions and professional associations who would help recruit candidates for the program
    • Designing, building, and maintaining an extensive database of people to help support outreach and recruitment of candidates for the program
    • Helping to plan a strategic planning meeting for HPRS partners
    • Collaborating on planning how to evaluate the program and conduct data collection, analysis, and reporting of program findings to various audiences
    • Providing health equity expertise and materials as needed

The Results 

  • We helped JHU reach more than 2,000 institutional contacts in 45 disciplines at 50 top-tier academic institutions across the nation.
  • From the candidates recruited during the first year of the program, 40 were selected for enrollment.
  • Westat is providing consultation on the recommended approach for evaluating the success of HPRS, which will be launched with preliminary data collection efforts at the RWJF’s 2016 Fall Institute for the Culture of Health Program.

Our Client 

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Johns Hopkins University