Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders

Each year, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders award recognizes 10 unsung heroes who are expanding access to health care services in their communities. These individuals are honored as Community Health Leaders for their commitment, courage and creativity in expanding access to health care and social services to underserved and isolated populations in communities across the United States.

The Community Health Leaders award elevates the leaders’ work through increased financial support and networking opportunities, and by raising awareness of their extraordinary contributions to their communities. The Community Health Leaders award includes $125,000, and provides leaders with opportunities to enhance their skills, build organizational capacity and interact with peers whose special knowledge and experience can help them to have greater impact on health issues in their communities.


2012 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders


These awards honor 10 men and women who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for those in disadvantaged or underserved communities across the country.



  • Be accomplished in the field of community health at the midcareer level, with a three- to10-year record of accomplishment.
  • Have created or substantially enhanced a health or health care initiative that improves both access to and quality of care in his or her community (e.g., broadened the reach of an established program, worked against conventional wisdom to establish a new initiative or changed the perception of a critical health issue).
  • Have positively affected a significant number of people in the targeted community;
  • Not have received significant national recognition for his or her work;
  • Be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States or its territories at the time of the Full Nomination.
  • Be affiliated with a public or nonprofit organization that is tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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