Anybody who knows me hears me mention the impact that the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has had on me in my career. As a matter of fact, during the first Health Datapalooza event in Washington, DC – I got a chance to meet and hang out with Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. Was probably one of the biggest highlights of the year for me. I’ve kept tabs on RWJF, especially their Pioneer & Public Health portfolios, for quite some time. I’m basically a fanboy.

Here Risa sets the stage for where we need to be prioritizing our innovative concepts and ideas about what health is about:


I’m really excited to see the organization stepping out into the world to accept pitches from smart people who have ideas they’d be interested in. You heard right. RWJF is having their first ever Pitch Day in New York City and are currently on the lookout out for people like you to submit ideas to them! I absolutely love equipping people with opportunities and resources so this announcement put stars in my eyes. Bring your A-game, because the lineup of judges is pretty impressive. Ranging from the future-thinking investor Esther Dyson to Ben Sawyer of the Games for Health Project (one of my fantastic clients) and Ben Heywood of the pioneering PatientsLikeMe organization.The concept of co-creation, which is intensely important for this next phase of impact, is no stranger to RWJF however I think doing things this way brings about a fresh new perspective in vetting actionable initiatives.

Before you get your submission in, make sure you read about what the Pioneer Portfolio looks for in ideas and think about sustainability. You remember what I said about “sustain or die” right? Yeah, still relevant (even more so actually). I encourage you to tell others about this upcoming event in October and get your ideas in. Think outside of traditional health notions. We’re embedding health into where people live, work and play (and even pray – something I hear my colleague/mentor Jane Sarasohn-Kahn say all the time) and that’s the only way in which we can encourage long lasting impact.

Are you submitting something? Thinking about it? Let me know!



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