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JSU education professor chosen for national leadership program to build health equity

 

Dr. Rodney Washington, professor of education in the College of Liberal Arts, was recently chosen out of 600 applicants for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health Leaders Development Program. (Photo special to JSU)

Dr. Rodney Washington, professor of education in the College of Education, was recently chosen out of 600 applicants for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leaders Development Program. (Photo by D’Atargnan Winford)

RJT BYLINE

Out of 600 applicants nationwide, Dr. Rodney Washington, associate professor of education, has been chosen to participate in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Culture of Health Leaders Development Program.

“I am so honored to be selected for such an amazing opportunity. I think this could be a complete game changer for me when it comes to taking my work to the next level in health equity for my community,” says Washington.

The three-year program seeks to connect leaders from all perspectives and backgrounds whether its technology, business, engineering or urban planning. Additionally, Washington says that the program’s mission is to assist in the cross-collaboration of people from every sector, field, and profession with addressing systemic inequities and finding new solutions to the nation’s most entrenched health challenges.

The professor explains that the commitment is sponsored locally by the Foundation for the Mid-South where Dr. Ivye Allen serves as president. He says that unlike traditional leadership programs that focus on the individual, this one is grounded in the recognition that it will take diverse thought and perspective to move the needle on critical health issues impacting the country.

Washington previously applied to the program but did not make it past the semi-finals. However, Allen encouraged him to apply again, and this time Washington was inducted into the new cohort.

“I have already been assigned an executive coach that will provide the support necessary to bring my ideas and innovation to life,” he says. “I am charged by the idea of what this program can do to help me improve health outcomes particularly for children and families living in high poverty.”

According to the program’s website, over the three-year period, participants will:

  • Receive an annual stipend
  • Develop high-level leadership skills through professional coaching, networking, and an advanced leadership curriculum, including up to four in-person leadership sessions reinforced by distance-based learning using interactive technology.
  • Create an individual leadership plan that includes self-assessment, leadership development goals, and plans for continued growth and impact after the program is completed.
  • Continue working in their home communities and applying new learnings in real time.
  • Network and become part of a national group of leaders.
  • Receive high-touch executive coaching from national leaders in areas such as futures and change management, health equity, and social innovation.
  • Implement a strategic Culture of Health initiative in the third year of the program.

To learn more about the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, click here.