The National Academy of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) proudly announce the 2016-2017 class of RWJF Health Policy Fellows. Beginning in September, the six health professionals selected will spend a year in Washington, DC, 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 assistant professor of health care research and policy, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York City
  • Christopher Friese, Ph.D., R.N., AOCN®, FAAN, assistant professor, department of systems, populations, and leadership, University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor
  • Christine Gleason, M.D., professor of pediatrics and adjunct professor of global health, division of neonatology, 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, and United States Navy assistant professor of dermatology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Gig Harbor, Wash.
  • Daniel Ochylski, D.N.P., M.S., R.N., chief executive officer, Independent Nursing Services Inc., Roseville, Mich.
  • Punam Ohri-Vachaspati, Ph.D., R.D., associate professor, School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, College of Health Solutions, Arizona State University, Phoenix[space height=”20″]

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

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