Program News

HAPF Program tribute to Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter

“More than 53 million Americans provide care for adults and children who cannot care for themselves. Whether helping an aging parent, a seriously ill spouse or child or some other special person in need, those giving care often do so at a great personal sacrifice of time, energy and income.” These are the words of Rosalynn Carter, Former First Lady of the United States, and founder of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers (RCI). In this one statement, Mrs. Carter emphasizes the common, essential, and difficult nature of the role caregivers have in the world. For this reason, among countless others, the Health and Aging Policy Fellows National Program Office team remembers Mrs. Carter fondly, as a true trailblazer and change agent in the lives of many.

Our program Founder and Director, Dr. Harold Pincus, was profoundly influenced by his time as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar in the late 1970s, when he had the opportunity to work with the former First Lady on the President’s 1978 Commission on Mental Health. He was so influenced by this experience, in fact, that it directly led to his development of The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program.

From the outset of the program in 2008, Health and Aging Policy Fellows have focused on issues impacting caregivers, and numerous alumni have contributed to caregiver work and initiatives – including but not limited to Jennifer Olsen, 2021-2022 Fellow and CEO of the Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers. The importance of this issue also led to the establishment of a Caregiver track within the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program, beginning with the current (2023-2024) cohort of Fellows. Funded by The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, this track enables Fellows based in Western New York and Southeastern Michigan to become effective advocates and help shape and implement family caregiving policies at the state and federal levels that would improve the lives of caregivers and those they care for.

Harold will always remember Mrs. Carter as “one of the most caring and approachable figures I’ve had the privilege to work with”, and as someone with genuine interest and compassion for doing work that truly makes a positive difference in people’s lives. The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program will continue in its ultimate goal to keep this vision alive.

HAPF Program tribute to Charles “Chuck” Feeney

We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of Charles “Chuck” Feeney, Founder of The Atlantic Philanthropies.

In 1982, Chuck decided to devote his wealth to the service of humanity through the founding of The Atlantic Philanthropies: “I had one idea that never changed in my mind—that you should use your wealth to help people.” Click here to read The Atlantic Philanthropies tribute to Chuck. The Atlantic Philanthropies has supported the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program from its founding in 2008.

With this support, the Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program has provided experience and skills in health and aging policy to 193 fellows, and counting, from multiple disciplines and settings. The training and experience have enabled alumni fellows to make contributions to the health and well-being of older people through policy-relevant research, policymaking at the state and federal levels of government, and health and social care delivery. These outcomes would not have happened without the care and commitment of Chuck Feeney and the Atlantic Philanthropies.

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows National Program Office, Alumni, and Fellows are immeasurably grateful for the support of The Atlantic Philanthropies, especially that of Chuck and of Chris Langston, former Program Officer with The Atlantic Philanthropies. The John A. Hartford Foundation and West Health have extended, and are continuing to extend, this legacy and the program’s reach into the future by extending the pipeline of policy experts committed to improving the lives of older Americans.

Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH, named Editor in Chief of JAMA Internal Medicine

Sharon K. Inouye, MD, MPH (2016-2017 Fellow) has been named Editor in Chief of JAMA Internal Medicine, effective July 1, 2023. She previously served as an Associate Editor at JAMA Network Open. Dr. Inouye succeeds Rita F. Redberg, MD, MSc, who has been Editor in Chief of JAMA Internal Medicine since 2009.

Dr. Inouye is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Milton and Shirley F. Levy Family Chair and Director of the Aging Brain Center, Marcus Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife. Dr. Inouye is an internationally recognized leader in internal medicine, geriatrics, and aging research, and has made a significant impact on health and medicine through her seminal research in cognitive disorders of aging, including delirium and dementia, and through her leadership in health innovation. She has combined her clinical acumen with expertise in epidemiology, public health and public policy, to revolutionize the way we provide clinical care for older adults. She developed an innovative and cost-effective approach proven to prevent delirium and falls in older persons, the Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP), implemented in hundreds of hospitals worldwide.

“I am truly excited to become the next editor in chief of JAMA Internal Medicine. I hope to build on the tremendous foundation provided by Dr. Rita Redberg and her team,” said Dr. Inouye. “My vision is that JAMA Internal Medicine will provide a voice and sounding board for the internal medicine community worldwide. I believe the journal will provide the essential evidence and knowledge base to advance the field of medicine, to influence practice and policy globally, and to improve public health for all.”

Click here to read the JAMA Network press release.

The HAPF National Program Office welcomes Maureen Henry to the team

The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is pleased to announce that Maureen Henry will join the National Program Office as Deputy Director for Program.

Maureen has 20 years of cross-disciplinary experience in health policy, quality improvement, performance measurement, and complex patient populations. As a 2012-2013 Health and Aging Policy Fellow, Maureen worked as a healthcare staffer in Virginia Senator Mark Warner’s Washington, DC office, where she met with constituents in DC and Virginia and assisted with negotiating and drafting the Care Planning Act of 2013. Most recently, Maureen was a Senior Program Officer with the National Academy of Medicine, where she served as Study Director for the Global Roadmap for Healthy Longevity.

As HAPF Deputy Director for Program, Maureen will contribute to developing program engagement opportunities and mentoring Fellows as they pursue their policy work throughout the course of the year. Maureen’s arrival expands our team’s capacity to support our growing community of nearly 200 Health and Aging Policy Fellows. With Maureen’s focus on current Fellows, Deputy Director Kathy Pike will shift the concentration of her efforts to enhancing our alumni engagement opportunities.

Maureen will also be joining the team at the Columbia Robert N. Butler Aging Center’s International Longevity Center (ILC-USA), which was founded in 1990 with the purpose of educating individuals on how to live longer, healthier, and more meaningful lives, as well as to advise the public on how to maximize the benefits of increasing longevity in modern society. Click here to learn more about ILC-USA.

We are thrilled that Maureen will be a part of our team come November and look forward to continuing our work with all of you.

Thomas Tsai, MD, MPH, selected as Senior Policy Advisory for the White House COVID-19 Response Team

Thomas Tsai, MD, MPH (2014-2015 Fellow) has been selected as Senior Policy Advisory for the White House COVID-19 Response Team, which was established during the presidency of Joe Biden to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. In this role, Dr. Tsai serves as the Testing and Treatment Coordinator directing the federal COVID-19 testing, therapeutics, and Test to Treat efforts.

Click here to read more about Dr. Tsai’s selection for the team.

Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN elected to RWJF Board of Trustees

Jing Wang, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN (2020-2021 Fellow) has been elected to The Board of Trustees of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which strives to improve health and healthcare in America, especially for those most in need, and is dedicated to building a Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. Jing is preparing the next generation of nurses for a digital transformation of healthcare, and her insights and experiences will contribute significantly to the Foundation’s aforementioned mission.

Click here to read the announcement of Dr. Wang’s election to the board.