A CPHI/RWJF Partnership

2015-2016 Community Scholars

The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Public Health Initiatives (CPHI) is a university-wide center founded in 2007. CPHI promotes interdisciplinary research, education and practice in public health. The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Public Health Initiative’s mission is to educate and train public health leaders and practitioners, foster multi-disciplinary collaboration, and promote excellence in public health research and community partnerships.


Since 1972, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has worked to identify the most pressing health issues facing America. RWJF believes that good health and health care are essential to the well-being and stability of our society and the vitality of our families and communities. The mission to bring meaningful, lasting change- with the goal of building a Culture of Health that enables all in our diverse society to lead healthier lives is what guides this fundamental premise. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has been driven by a continuous cycle of research, evaluation and learning. Through funding sound, objective analysis to help expand the evidence in our fields of interest, identify gaps and opportunities, and set targets and goals, RWJF evaluates programs to determine what is working, what isn’t and why. Together, RWJF determines how best to achieve a meaningful impact, and ensure its strategies remain effective as the nation’s health challenges continue to evolve.


Through the partnership of RWJF and CPHI the vision is to establish a more robust infrastructure to support community engagement and health policy research between community organizations in Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. The overall goal of this partnership is to develop a sustainable model supported by the University of Pennsylvania that builds on existing infrastructure. RWJF at the University of Pennsylvania has promoted community-academic partnerships, trainee scholarship and community-based participatory research with notable achievements over the past 10 years. Building on CPHI’s strong network of community partnerships, the Community Scholars program will be used to pilot the infrastructure needed to institutionalize access of community organizations/individuals to Penn researchers and vice versa, ultimately expanding opportunities for academic community partnerships.