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Bonnie J Austin

Bonnie J. Austin, J.D., M.P.H.

Vice President - AcademyHealth

Bonnie Austin is Vice President, Strategic Planning and Business Development at AcademyHealth, where she also serves as Deputy Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) program. She joined AcademyHealth in January 2001.

Ms. Austin's HCFO work includes evaluating and administering grants, developing and managing conferences on health care financing issues and authoring monographs, newsletter articles and briefing papers. Her responsibilities also include developing, implementing and refining strategic approaches to business development at AcademyHealth, including grants, contracts, and strategic partnerships. Ms. Austin serves as Assistant Secretary to AcademyHealth's Board of Directors and supports a number of Board committee activities. Prior to joining AcademyHealth, Ms. Austin worked for 10 years as a litigator at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Her practice involved representing clients, including health care providers, in criminal investigations, civil suits and administrative proceedings. Ms. Austin received her MPH from The George Washington University, her JD from University of Notre Dame Law School and her BA from Dartmouth College.

Authored by Bonnie J. Austin, J.D., M.P.H.

Blog Post

HCFO: A Chapter Closes, but the Evidence Endures

After nearly 30 years, the final grants funded under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) initiative are coming to a close at the end of December. This work has built on AcademyHealth’s broader efforts to get actionable evidence that can improve health and health care into the hands of decision makers when they need it and in a format they can use.

National Change Leadership Programs

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AcademyHealth supports three national change leadership programs though policy and communications training.

The 2017 application cycle for the 2017 National Change Leadership Programs is now open. 

Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, AcademyHealth supports three national change leadership programs though policy and communications training.

These three national change leadership programs were designed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to extend the influence and impact of leaders working to build a Culture of Health. For decades, the Foundation has supported the development and diversity of health care leaders with landmark programs for clinical scholars, physicians, nurses, and researchers. Building on this core value, the Foundation created these programs to invest in leaders from more diverse sectors—leaders who have the passion, ingenuity, and influence required to navigate the rapidly evolving health and health care environment and the factors that shape it.

Clinical Scholars

Clinical Scholars is a national leadership program aimed toward clinically active health care providers spanning a range of disciplines—nurses, physicians, pharmacists, physical therapists, dentists, allied health, veterinarians, and many others. Working together in interprofessional teams, participants engage in intensive learning, mentoring, and networking to lead transformative change—centered on health equity—in their communities. This program is hosted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

Health Policy Research Scholars

Health Policy Research Scholars is a national change leadership development opportunity for full-time doctoral students from underrepresented populations or historically disadvantaged backgrounds, entering the first or second year of their doctoral program, from any academic discipline who are training to be researchers and are interested in health policy research. The program is hosted at Johns Hopkins University. 

Inderdisciplinary Research Leaders

Interdisciplinary Research Leaders is a change leadership development opportunity, supporting teams of researchers and community leaders to apply health research and policy to meet the pressing needs of communities. With a shared commitment to creating a healthier, more equitable future, these powerful alliances will be challenged to collaborate in new ways and accelerate the real-life impact of their work. The program is hosted at the University of Minnesota.

Information about the fourth leadership program, Culture of Health Leaders, can be found here.



Questions? Contact Meghan Wolfe


Special Topic Research Programs

The most effective health care policy is informed by objective, rigorous evidence. For 25 years, AcademyHealth served as the national program office for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Changes in Health Care Financing and Organization (HCFO) grantmaking initiative and continues to manage special topic solicitations for the Foundation covering a broad array of topics.


With guidance from the Foundation, AcademyHealth staff manage rigorous external review of grant proposals, monitor funded projects, and collaborate with grantees to disseminate study findings through a variety of channels, including meetings, written products, and social media. AcademyHealth is known for managing successful grantmaking programs that promote the development of high-quality evidence that is useful and used by policymakers and other decision makers. AcademyHealth staff are currently managing the following special topic solicitations::



If you have questions about any of these projects, please contact Megan Collado