Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation CEO

Being the head of the fourth largest charitable foundation in the United States, and the largest one that is dedicated to healthcare, Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey manages around 800 grants worth $360 million annually. Ah, no wonder she’s ranked the 84th most powerful woman by Forbes.risa lavizzo mourey2

Now, what is this Foundation? Yes, you guessed it right – it’s the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation which was established by the founder of Johnson & Johnson, Robert Wood Johnson II at his death with over 10 million shares of the company’s stock. To date, the assets amount to nearly $9.5 billion.

Okay, so the foundation’s mission is to improve the health and health care of all Americans.

Oh, this is going to be very touchy. How about getting the opinions of Americans themselves? If they are satisfied with the health care system then the RWJF has really done its job. If not, then the RWJF is… well, not necessarily a failure but some sort of an “accomplice” to the so-called degradation of the system.  Harsh? Read again – from the mission down.

See, for one, the RWJF has been assisting states on implementing the Affordable Care Act last year; so, how was it?

This means, if the foundation has done well then that bodes well for Dr. Risa; otherwise, uh-oh bad news.

But good news is… that’s just one side of the story. The other side of it says that she’s just actually overseeing grants of the New Jersey-based institution – “so, ask me how those grants have done? Ask me how our operations have gone… then judge.” 

With that, it would be worthy to note about the restructuring of the foundation’s strategic investments under Dr. Risa’s leadership which would be focusing on a set of high-impact priorities, to name a few:

  • Constructing a better patient-centered health system;
  • Enhancing the standards of patient care, and;
  • Covering the uninsured.

The first two areas mentioned are expected. The third one, I like it. It would definitely help the less-privileged.

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey has been at the forefront of the RWJF since December 2002 – hmm… it’s been 10 years now, hopefully, positive changes would not only be felt by society but would last for years to come.

As she put it, “if you want to improve the health and the economic well-being of Americans, it would be wise to start with the youngest and most vulnerable among us.”

What’s your take?