Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy

New Mexico
Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus


Since 2008, the Center has programmatically supported doctoral training of historically underrepresented students, especially Latinos and American Indians through a center focusing on health policy. The Center is preparing future leaders who can address the social inequities that affect the nation’s health and well-being as well as improving the health care delivery and financing system.

Program Description

The Center’s primary goal is to increase the number of social and health scientists from Latino and other communities underrepresented in these disciplines.


The RWJF Center’s accomplishments over four years have been substantial:

  • Recruiting 28 pre-doctoral and 7 dissertation fellows, most of them from the target populations: Nearly 95 percent of fellows are under-represented minorities. Further, about 85 percent of fellows are Latino/as and American Indians.
  • Over half of fellows are in the target disciplines of economics, political science and sociology.
  • Three fellows recently graduated (in psychology and in communications and journalism and in economics) and placed in tenure track academic positions.
  • Expanding the fellowship program to include post-doctoral fellows (five have been funded and successfully placed in tenure track academic positions).
  • Developing a wide array of academic enrichment, academic support, leadership, and professional development activities to prepare fellows to succeed in their studies and become future leaders.
  • Hiring one junior faculty each in the three target social science departments (economics, political science, and sociology) and two in public health.
  • Building internal and external collaborations to enhance the intellectual life of the Center and create opportunities for fellows to engage in research and policy analysis; Creating an infrastructure to support student and faculty research; Obtaining support from other sources for the post-doctoral fellowships (i.e., National Institutes of Health).