Rutgers' announces Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research

May 28, 2002

Rutgers' Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research has announced the recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) annual Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research. Nine grants totaling $2.4 million will be awarded to 13 scholars from universities across the country.

The national RWJF Investigator Awards program, administered by Rutgers' Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research, funds approximately 10 research initiatives annually. Projects must develop, interpret or substantially advance ideas or knowledge that can improve health or health care policy in the United States. Investigators can receive up to $275,000 to fund research over three years.

The newly funded projects will address issues such as how cultural influences have shaped the understanding and management of pain, the right to health care, whether models of epidemics and social contagion can be used to explain adolescent violence, the role of regulation in protecting human subjects and how the federal budget process has shaped public-health policy.

"We have chosen an extraordinarily talented group of investigators addressing some of the most challenging basic and applied issues in health, health care and health policy," said David Mechanic, Investigator Awards national program director and director of Rutgers' Institute for Health, Health Care Policy and Aging Research.

"Terrorism, the slowdown in the economy, the precarious situation of state budgets, the federal deficit and rising health care costs strain our health system and raise significant challenges for health policy," said David Colby, senior program officer at RWJF. "The Investigator Awards program has been designed to encourage the development of innovative ideas. Results of these projects will provide fresh insights to inform the health-policy process."

A 12-member national advisory committee and RWJF representatives selected the new recipients from a field of 232 applications.

The new Investigator Awards recipients are:

Investigators: Ronald Bayer, Ph.D., and Amy L. Fairchild, Ph.D., M.P.H., Columbia University
Project: "Privacy and Surveillance: The History and Politics of Public Health Reporting"

Investigators: Scott Burris, J.D., Temple University, and Zita Lazzarini, J.D., M.P.H., University of Connecticut
Project: "Human Subjects Protection as Regulation: A Comparative, Empirical View"

Investigator: Jeffrey A. Fagan, Ph.D., Columbia University
Project: "Social Contagion of Adolescent Violence"

Investigator: Beatrix R. Hoffman, Ph.D., Northern Illinois University
Project: "A History of the Right to Health Care"

Investigator: Stephen J. Kunitz, M.D., Ph.D., University of Rochester
Project: "Nation-States and Population Health"

Investigators: John W. Lynch, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Michigan, and George Davey Smith, M.D., D.Sc. University of Bristol
Project: "An Individual and Population Lifecourse Approach to the Determinants of Health"

Investigator: Keith A. Wailoo, Ph.D., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Project: "Pain as Policy: The Social Negotiation of Pain in Medicine, Culture and Public Policy in Post-World War II America"

Investigator: Timothy M. Westmoreland, J.D., Georgetown University
Project: "Rules over Policy: The Impact of the Federal Budget Process on the Modernization of American Public Health"

Investigators: George E. Wright, Ph.D., University of Washington, and Ira Moscovice, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Project: "Rural Models for American Health Care: Is Our Problem the Solution?"

The RWJF Investigator Awards program was created in 1992 and has granted $20.8 million to support 83 projects involving 103 investigators. RWJF has committed more than $32 million to the program. Details on the projects are available on the Investigator Awards Web site:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,, based in Princeton, is the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to health and health care. It concentrates its grant making in four goal areas: to assure that all Americans have access to basic health care at reasonable cost; to improve care and support for people with chronic health conditions; to promote healthy communities and lifestyles; and to reduce the personal, social and economic harm caused by substance abuse - tobacco, alcohol and illicit drugs.

Rutgers University

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