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Neely selected for national program to build culture of health

How do we create better, more equitable health for all?

That’s the question that 40 doctoral students from across the country – including College of Education & Human Development student Adrian Neely – will explore as part of the new Health Policy Research Scholars program.

Headshot of Adrian Neely

Adrian Neely

Participating scholars are from communities that by race, ethnicity, socio-economic status and other factors are traditionally underrepresented in doctoral programs and policy development, with an intention to diversify the next generations of leaders and ensure equity in policies.

As one of only 40 applicants selected, Neely joins Health Policy Research Scholars, a new program led by Johns Hopkins University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She will join scholars from across the country to collaborate and innovate to solve persistent challenges and advance a “Culture of Health,” one that places well-being at the center of every aspect of life.

“These scholars are dedicated to advancing their field in a way that makes a positive and significant impact on their communities,” said Harolyn M.E. Belcher program director for the Health Policy Research Scholars Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training and Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. “In order to do so, they’re willing to forge a new path, learn how to do things differently and work collaboratively to achieve a healthier, more equitable society.”

As part of the program, Neely will develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, mentoring, networking and an advanced health policy curriculum. She will continue working full-time and applying new health policy knowledge and leadership in the community and field.

Additional partners providing training and coaching to scholars include AcademyHealth, George Washington University, the Mayo Clinic, the University of California—Los Angeles and the University of Michigan.

Health Policy Research Scholars is one of four new leadership development programs launched this year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and represents a four-year, multimillion dollar investment. The programs join five existing leadership programs in advancing RWJF’s legacy of supporting the development and diversity of leaders impacting health. The 2017 application period for the newer programs will open in January. For more information, visit