The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Group Members

  • Hutton, Olivia (Junior, Exercise Science)
  • Johnson, Taylor (Sophomore, Health Science)
  • Rincon, Enna (Sophomore, Exercise Science)
  • Ruiz, Charles (Junior, Health Science)
  • Temple, Sarah (Junior, Health Science)


Introductory video

Company background

  • Founded in 1972
  • Located in Princeton, New Jersey
  • Private
  • Non Profit
  • Focus: Healthcare reform, quality of care, childhood obesity, human capital, vulnerable populations, public health, health coverage
  • President as of April 2017 is Richard Besser (formerly Risa Lavizzo-Mourey)


“At RWJF, we are working to build a national Culture of Health. Our goal is to help raise the health of everyone in the United States to the level that a great nation deserves, by placing well-being at the center of every aspect of life. We are very aware that achieving this will take unprecedented collaboration—a movement for better health. At the same time, we also know we are far from alone in our belief that everyone should have the opportunity to lead a healthier life. And by working alongside many others, we can bring about meaningful change, now and for generations to come.”

how rwjf works

Through the use of grant programs, RWJF engages with policymakers, business leaders, community groups and others to make it easier for the people to become healthy and stay healthy.

In order to understand America’s health challenges better and identify new approaches to bring a better change to the community, they contribute to the funding of research. They also evaluate and draw lessons from not only their programs, but from work others have done in the past.

The central focus on RWJF is to build a national Culture of Health, however there aren’t many others who believe that everyone should have the opportunity to gain a longer and more healthier life.


  • RWJF’s three signature research programs are examining the impact of different types of programs, policies and health-related systems on health, equity, and well-being.
  1. Targeted Research- Solicited and often rapid-cycle projects to address key gaps in knowledge and inform efforts to improve health, health equity and well-being.
  2. Policy and System Research- Exploratory and advanced studies seeking a deeper understanding about potential benefits and implications of alternative approaches.
  3. Research Drive Demonstrations- Projects that address particular research questions which may have broad ramifications both for our grant making and broader health policy and practice.


Connected with these objectives, RWJF funds a wide range of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Planning and demonstration projects
  • Research and evaluations
  • Policy and statistical analysis
  • Learning networks and communities
  • Public education and strategic communication
  • Community engagement and coalition-building
  • Training and fellowship programs
  • Technical assistance

In general, the activities they support are carried out by public agencies, universities, and public charities that are tax-exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. While they are focused on a healthier U.S., they also fund grants that help them learn from and adapt global innovations.


As stated previously, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is committed to helping everyone in America have an equal opportunity to pursue a healthier life through investments in four broad areas.

Focus areas include:

  1. Health Leadership- Encouraging leaders to help build a Culture of Health
  2. Health Systems- Achieve better health and health care systems
  3. Healthy Communities- Helping communities reach their greatest health potential
  4. Healthy Children, Healthy Weight- Helping children maintain a healthy lifestyle

Relation to hpex 300

The RWJF is relatable to what we had discussed in Chapter 2 about Public health. Chapter 2 mentions that public health deals with broad social concerns about ensuring conditions that promote optimum health for the society as a whole, Which is one of the tasks that the RWJF works on continuously. We also discussed in Chapter 2 that environmental factors encompass the physical, socioeconomic, sociopolitical, and sociocultural dimensions. In this aspect, the RWJF, works to bridge the gap between rich and poor in order to improve social cohesion, so that people trust each other and participate in communal activities.


The Foundation has a National agenda in order to improve health around the country. It contains three major elements:

  • Action Areas - Sequence of high-level goals that can improve overall population health.
  • Drivers - The set of particular activities that are used to achieve better health.
  • Measures - Data points used to track the progression over time of achieving a better Culture of Health.


For many years, the foundation’s investments were held in the form of shares in the J&J company. Now, the portfolio is substantially diversified.

Their long-standing policy has been not to invest in a company that have products that conflict with their mission, such as companies that sell tobacco, alcohol, etc.

“The Foundation therefore seeks to earn an investment return that, over time, equals or exceeds the sum of its annual spending, as a percentage of the Foundation’s assets plus the rate of inflation. This balance of investment return and spending is designed to spread risk and promote a steady, stable flow of support for our grantees.” (RWJF, 2016).

budget and statistics

  • Disbursements- About 400 million a year
  • Endowment- 9.2 billion
  • Audited financial statements and annual tax returns are posted on the website as they become available.
Charitable Distributions (Qualifying Distributions) 2006-2015
Assets of the Foundation 2006-2015


  • There are 283 employees at this foundation.
  • They played a significant role in developing the 911 emergency call system.
  • It’s the second wealthiest foundation in the nation.
  • Robert Wood Johnson II built the family firm of Johnson & Johnson into the world's largest health products maker. He died in 1968. He established the foundation at his death with 10,204,377 shares of the company's stock.

Post quiz


We have witnessed great progress, but we have to notice that our nation continues to work to improve health by focusing primarily on the health care system when in fact, our health is significantly influenced by where we live, work, learn and play. Time and time again, we recognize that no matter the issue, no single organization or sector can change the trajectory of America’s health alone.

Questions or comments?


"Robert Wood Johnson Foundation." RWJF. N.p., 20 Apr. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.`

"Delivering Healthcare in America." Shi Leiyu, Singh Douglas.MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2015

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Improving Health and Health Care. YouTube, 28 Dec. 2012. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

Think big, Act together, Build A Culture of Health. YouTube, 24 Mar. 2017. Web. 20 Apr. 2017.

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