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Student & Alumni Achievements

Student & Alumni Achievements

UIC Doctoral Student Selected for New National Leadership Program to Build Culture of Health

How do we create better, more equitable health for all? That’s the question that 40 PhD students from across the country will explore as part of the new Health Policy Research Scholars program. 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.


[Photo: Ms. Jenny Guadamuz]

As one of only 40 applicants selected, Ms. Jenny Guadamuz a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in the division of health policy and administration, joins Health Policy Research Scholars, a new program led by Johns Hopkins University with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Ms. Guadamuz 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,” says Dr. Harolyn M.E. Belcher, program director, Health Policy Research Scholars Center for Diversity in Public Health Leadership Training and Professor of Pediatrics, 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 Ms. Guadamuz will study the use of medicines among vulnerable populations in the US and abroad, in hopes of informing policies that promote equitable access to medicines. Dr. Dima M Qato, PharmD, an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois College of Pharmacy is her institution mentor. Along the way she will develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, mentoring, networking and an advanced health policy curriculum. While participating in the program she will continue studying 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, Mayo Clinic, University of California—Los Angeles, and 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. Additional information is available at