News Release

National Academy of Medicine selects eight health professionals selected for RWJF

Grant and Award Announcement

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

WASHINGTON -- The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today named the 2016-2017 class of RWJF Health Policy Fellows. Beginning in September, the eight health professionals selected will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working on health-related legislative and regulatory issues with members of Congress and the executive branch. They will also engage in seminars and discussions on health policy and participate in leadership development programs.

The fellows were chosen in a national competition for highly accomplished health, behavioral, and social science professionals who have an interest in health policy. Their experiences in Washington will enrich their understanding of public policy formation and the ways federal and state government relate to the mission of their home institutions and local communities. The fellows program will commence with a three-month orientation, followed by a nine-month assignment in a congressional office or the executive branch, where they will be involved in health-related legislation and programs. After their Washington assignment, fellows will continue to receive support to sustain their development as health policy leaders.

"This class of outstanding fellows will be arriving at a remarkable time for U.S. health policy," said Marie Michnich, director of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows Program at NAM. "They will be working with a new administration and a new Congress, which will present unique opportunities to learn about and contribute to federal health policy formation."

The 2016-2017 fellows are:

  • Daryll Dykes, M.D., J.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer, Medical and Surgical Spine Consultants of Minnesota, PLLC, Minneapolis

  • Elena Elkin, Ph.D., M.P.A., associate attending outcomes research scientist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and associate professor of healthcare policy and research, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City

  • Christopher Friese, Ph.D., R.N., professor, department of systems, populations, and leadership, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor

  • Christine Gleason, M.D., professor of pediatrics, division of neonatology, and adjunct professor of global health, University of Washington, Seattle

  • Susie Nanney, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., associate professor, department of family medicine and community health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

  • Josephine Nguyen, M.D., head, department of dermatology, United States Navy; and assistant professor of dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bremerton, Wash.

  • Daniel Ochylski, D.N.P., M.S., R.N., founder and chief executive officer, Independent Nursing Services Inc., Roseville, Mich.

  • Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Ph.D., R.D., professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix/


For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit


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