ABOUT CULTURE
OF HEALTH LEADERS

Culture of Health Leaders is a leadership development opportunity for people working in every field and profession who want to use their influence to advance health and equity. Our leaders’ innovation helps build a Culture of Health, one that enables everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. Through this program, our leaders will be prepared to collaborate and provide transformative leadership to address health equity in their communities.

The Culture of Health Leaders program includes representation from fields as diverse as architecture, education, urban farming, the arts and many others. For this year’s cohort, we’re looking for even broader representation from fields and professions across the private, public, nonprofit and social sectors.

JEANNE HERB, Associate Director; Environmental Analysis and Communications Group, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy

THE EXPERIENCE: CULTURE OF HEALTH LEADERS

Over the course of the three-year program, leaders will:

  • Receive an annual stipend of $20,000 per person—which can be used to cover salary, living expenses and more—for three consecutive years.
  • Develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, networking, and an advanced leadership curriculum, including up to four in-person leadership sessions reinforced by distance-based learning using interactive technology.
  • Create an individual leadership plan that includes self-assessment, leadership development goals, and plans for continued growth and impact after the program is completed.
  • Continue working in their home communities and applying new learnings in real time.
  • Network and become part of a national group of leaders.
  • Receive high-touch executive coaching from national leaders in areas such as futures and change management, health equity, and social innovation.
  • Initiate a bold Culture of Health project in the third year of the program.

THE RESULT: LEADERS EQUIPPED TO BUILD A CULTURE OF HEALTH IN AMERICA

Upon completion, participants will be equipped to:

  • Reach beyond professions and fields to generate sector-spanning solutions.
  • Influence systems and institutions with expanded community engagement practices.
  • Frame systemic issues and build public will to address them.
  • Demonstrate a deep understanding of the root causes of inequity, Culture of Health, research, and other concepts.
  • Advocate for systemic change to improve health and health equity.
  • Break down silos across sectors to build a Culture of Health.

Culture of Health Leaders is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, co-led by the National Collaborative for Health Equity and CommonHealth ACTION.

The Robert Wood Johnson foundation

These programs continue the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders. Initially focused on health and health care, the programs have been expanded, because we know that building a Culture of Health requires all of us in every sector, profession and discipline working together.

For more than 40 years, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. It is working with others to build a national Culture of Health, enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.

PROGRAM LEADERSHIP

Natalie Burke
Natalie Burke Co-Director, Culture of Health Leaders;
President & CEO, CommonHealth ACTION

A relationship specialist, Natalie builds and sustains successful, long-term interactions with leaders from all sectors. For more than 20 years, she has provided technical assistance and coaching to organizations across the country as they create community-generated solutions to policy challenges. A master trainer and facilitator, Natalie’s expertise includes organizational development, curriculum development, executive coaching, and training for institutions, including: government; Fortune 150 corporations; public health and healthcare organizations; and community collaboratives.

“Regardless of their sector, stage in life or careers, Culture of Health Leaders will engage in creating an alternative future, one in which all people have equitable opportunities for their best possible health and well-being.”

— NATALIE S. BURKE, Co-Director, Culture of Health Leaders Program, President and CEO, CommonHealth ACTION

 

Brian Smedley, PhD
Brian Smedley, PhD Co-Director, Culture of Health Leaders;
Executive Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Brian D. Smedley is co-founder and Executive Director of the National Collaborative for Health Equity, a project that connects research, policy analysis and communications with on-the-ground activism to advance health equity. In this role, Dr. Smedley oversees several initiatives designed to improve opportunities for good health for people of color and undo the health consequences of racism. From 2008 to 2014, Dr. Smedley was Vice President and Director of the Health Policy Institute of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in Washington, D.C., a research and policy organization focused on addressing the needs of communities of color.

“Culture of Health Leaders will embark on a life-changing journey to build their leadership capacity, and, in so doing, positively affect the lives of millions around the country.”

— BRIAN SMEDLEY, PhD, Executive Director and Co-Founder, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Theresa Lewallen
Theresa Lewallen Deputy Director, Culture of Health Leaders;
Senior Program Director, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Theresa Lewallen leads the implementation of the Culture of Health Leaders program. She coordinates with the co-directors and staff from the co-leading organizations, facilitates cross-organization communication, and provides advice on the development of processes.

Theresa previously held leadership positions at an education membership association, including directing work that engaged schools with communities in collaborations that improved health and academic outcomes.

Theresa is a certified health education specialist (CHES) with experience in community health promotion and education focused on underserved populations. In addition to her work with Culture of Health Leaders program, she serves as a Vocational Deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

Kara D. Ryan, MPP
Kara D. Ryan, MPP Program Director, Culture of Health Leaders;
Associate Director, Programs and Resource Development, CommonHealth ACTION

Kara leads CommonHealth ACTION’s work developing strategies to institutionalize equity in agencies, organizations and businesses. As part of this work, Kara develops evidence-based curricula and trainings for groups of all sizes, demographics and sectors. She is a strategic thinker, nimble communicator and policy expert. In addition to her role as the program director for the Culture of Health Leaders National Program Center, she oversees CommonHealth ACTION’s work with Seattle Children’s to institutionalize EDI to create more equitable outcomes for its workforce as well as the patients, families and research participants who receive care.

Tara Hacker
Tara Hacker Senior Program Manager, Culture of Health Leaders;
Senior Program Manager, CommonHealth ACTION

Tara Hacker oversees the development and management of two leadership programs and provides technical assistance to community-based leaders and organizations in her role at CommonHealth ACTION (CHA). She has over a decade of public health and health care experience. Prior to joining CHA, Tara worked at the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC). She served as Program Director and Project Manager for PCPCC’s Support & Alignment Network for Patients, Families and Community Engagement—a CMS funded initiative. Tara also worked at the Kansas Health Policy Authority and the National Council of La Raza, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras.

Jeffrey Moy
Jeffrey Moy Program Manager, Culture of Health Leaders;
Program Manager, National Collaborative for Health Equity

Jeffrey Moy is a Program Manager with the National Collaborative for Health Equity (NCHE). His experience includes implementing programs, developing leaders and strategic planning for non-profit organizations. Prior to joining NCHE, Jeff was a Program Officer for the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program at the Institute of International Education. He has also worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a National Urban Fellow, where he managed the team creating a strategy around eliminating health disparities. Jeff is an active volunteer for a number of community organizations and currently serves on the National Board for the Japanese American Citizens League.

Our partners are instrumental in developing and delivering curriculum, providing coaching, and extending the network of leaders.

National advisory committee

Mark VanKerkhoff
Mark VanKerkhoff
National Advisory Committee Chair, Culture of Health Leaders;
Director of the Development & Community Services Department Kane County, Illinois

Mark VanKerkhoff is the Director of the Development & Community Services Department for Kane County, Illinois, where he provides leadership in the areas of planning, community development, economic development, building, zoning and code enforcement services. Mark’s involvement in historic preservation, long range and community planning, farmland protection, and community services programs administration has spanned over 25 years. He currently co-leads the Kane County Planning Cooperative, which integrates community health, land use and transportation. He also serves as Co-Chair of the Land Use Committee for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, and represents Kane County in the Chicago Regional Growth Initiatives for economic development

Katie Clarke Adamson
Katie Clarke Adamson
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Senior Director, Health Partnerships and Policy, YMCA of the USA

Katie Clarke Adamson has over 25 years of experience in health policy, partnership development and strategic planning in the non-profit, private and government sectors. She currently serves as the Senior Director of Health Partnerships and Policy for YMCA of the USA. She provides guidance and consultation on healthy living policy, partnership and program strategies at the national level and for local Ys and YMCA state alliances. She helps advance state and federal level healthy living legislative and advocacy strategies, including the drafting and implementation of legislative initiatives and accompanying policy documents; and, assisting with congressional, corporate and health partnerships.

Terry Allan, MPH
Terry Allan, MPH National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Cuyahoga County Health Commissioner, Cuyahoga County Board of Health (Greater Cleveland)

Terry Allan is the Health Commissioner for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and past president of the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine. Terry has served on advisory panels for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a Year 13 Scholar of CDC’s National Public Health Leadership Institute. Terry is a Past- President of the Board of Directors for the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Kitty Hsu Dana
Kitty Hsu Dana National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Public Health Leader

A social change leader for advancing equity, Kitty Hsu Dana served as Vice President of Community Impact, Health for United Way Worldwide. She supported its network of local organizations on evidence-based strategies, thought leadership and collaborations across sectors to address factors that affect the health of people and their communities. Prior to UWW, she held senior positions in a diversity of settings, including the American Public Health Association, the Helix Health System, and Planned Parenthood of Maryland. She is a co-creator of the Public Health Code of Ethics and was on the National Academy of Medicine’s Roundtable on Obesity Solutions.

Marcia Conner
Marcia Conner
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Blank-page Systems Architect, Business sector consultant & adult learning expert

Marcia Conner is a former corporate executive now dedicating her time to reinventing a vibrant healthy world. Described as a “blank page systems architect,” she works with big-vision leaders, impact entrepreneurs and unreasonable thinkers. She is a SupporTED Mentor, contributor to Fast Company, fellow at the Darden School of Business, and an activist with Change Agents Worldwide. Marcia is author of Learn More Now; The New Social Learning: Connect, Collaborate, Work; Creating a Learning Culture; and contributor to Changing the World of Work: One Human at a Time. She speaks globally on outcompeting current structures through system innovation and ingenuity.

Andrea Ivory
Andrea Ivory
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Executive Director, Women’s Breast & Heart Initiative, Florida Affiliate

Andrea Ivory’s experience as a breast cancer survivor inspired her to establish The Women’s Breast & Heart Initiative because she realized how critical early detection is in saving the lives of women diagnosed with breast cancer. Ivory was named one of 10 recipients of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Community Health Leaders Award in 2011, a 2009 Top Ten CNN Hero, and a 2009 L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth Honoree.

Julie Willems Van Dijk, PhD, RN, FAAN
Julie Willems Van Dijk, PhD, RN, FAAN National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Associate Scientist, Director of the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program, University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute

Julie is an Associate Scientist and the Director of the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps Program, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Her research focuses on community health improvement planning processes. Julie worked for 21 years as a public health nurse, director of nursing and health officer. She has served on numerous community boards, including the Aspirus Wausau Hospital Board of Directors, the Wausau School District Board of Education, the Marathon County United Way’s Local Initiatives for Excellence (LIFE) committee, and the Wausau/Marathon County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Wausau program.

Vicki Ybarra, PhD, MPH, RN
Vicki Ybarra, PhD, MPH, RN
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Director, Research and Analysis, Washington Department of Early Learning

Dr. Vicki Ybarra is the Director of Research for Washington’s Department of Early Learning. She has an interdisciplinary background focused on social/structural determinants of health and well-being, public policy and civic engagement. She is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation scholar and holds a PhD in Political Science/Public Policy. Dr. Ybarra worked in the Yakima Valley in Washington for over two decades as a home visiting nurse, health planner, school board member and community advocate to help build health and education systems responsive to a growing population of immigrant families. She served as Washington’s first Chair of the Governor’s Health Disparities Council and led creation of the state’s first plan to eliminate health disparities in 2010.

David Harrington
David Harrington
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Executive Director, Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce

David Harrington is President and CEO of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce. During his tenure, the Chamber’s revenue, membership and influence on state and local policy has increased significantly. Previously, David completed 15 years of public life commencing as a mayor, a county council member and Maryland State Senator. He was also President of the Maryland Municipal League, National Chair of Economic Development with the National Association of Counties, and Chaired the Maryland State Task Force on Physical Education. He has been awarded numerous awards, including the Phyllis Newman Award for nonprofit advocacy, the Human Services Coalition Legislative Award, and Legislator of the Year from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters.

Luella Toni Lewis, MD
Luella Toni Lewis, MD
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders Chair;
Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Healthcare

Dr. Luella Toni Lewis chairs SEIU Healthcare, the arm of SEIU representing one million nurses, doctors and health care workers throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. She joined SEIU in 2004 as a member of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) of SEIU Healthcare. She was elected as the national president of CIR from 2007-2010. Dr. Lewis trained at St. Vincent’s Catholic Medical Center when it experienced service cuts and imminent closure. She emerged from this crisis as an experienced and tested public health advocate devoted to health justice and the highest quality of care for all communities.

Kyu Rhee
Kyu Rhee
National Advisory Committee Member, Culture of Health Leaders;
Chief Health Officer, IBM Watson Health

Dr. Rhee serves as Chief Health Officer of IBM, where he has global responsibilities for Watson Health and assuring a Culture of Health at IBM. Prior to joining IBM, Dr. Rhee was Chief Public Health Officer at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), the primary federal agency for improving access to health care services for the uninsured, isolated or medically vulnerable. Dr. Rhee also served as Director of the Office of Innovation and Program Coordination at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he served on and led numerous initiatives related to eliminating health disparities and promoting health equity.