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Northwell Health Physician Named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow


Northwell Health's Karin Rhodes, MD, has been selected to participate in the prestigious 2017-2018 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Health Policy Fellows program based at the National Academy of Medicine in Washington, DC. The program provides an in-depth, real-world immersive experience for clinicians and researchers to actively participate in the health policy process at the federal level.

Dr. Rhodes is vice president for care management design and evaluation at Northwell Health's Office of Population Health Management. She is one of six fellows chosen through a highly-competitive selection process. Starting in September 2017, Dr. Rhodes will spend a minimum of one year in the nation's capital working on projects for improving the country's health care system. After a four-month "Health Policy Boot camp" at the National Academy of Medicine, she will be given a nine to twelve month assignment in which fellows work in either a congressional office or the executive branch of government. Ongoing health policy leadership development activities, networking, media training, along with embedded governmental experience are key components of the program, as are alumni gatherings at the annual scientific sessions of the National Academy of Medicine. When fellows complete the program, they typically return to the organizations that sponsor their participation in the program to apply their new networks and skills into practice.

Dr. Rhodes is currently responsible for helping to develop and test broad system-level interventions designed to improve transitions in care and the overall value of a health care visit. Her work at Northwell includes developing, evaluating and disseminating innovations in home-based primary care, community paramedicine, health information exchange and telehealth to reduce hospitalizations and address the complex care needs of patients across the continuum of care. She also is a national expert in the use of simulated patient methodology to measure access to health care and a thought leader for the integration of public health and emergency medicine.

Dr. Rhodes said she hopes to use the fellowship to work with members of Congress and various congressional committees, "ideally on issues that have bipartisan appeal related to healthy aging and improving the quality of care transitions, which are important to both health care consumers and providers." The program helps its fellows select placements that align with their skills and interests.

A professor of emergency medicine and psychiatry at the Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine in Hempstead, NY, Dr. Rhodes completed a residency in emergency medicine and a master's degree in health studies as part of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar's program at the University of Chicago, where she was director of health services research. She joined the University of Pennsylvania in 2006 and became the founding director of the Center of Emergency Care Policy Research. Dr. Rhodes retains adjunct appointments at the Perelman School of Medicine and as a senior fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics.

With 17 years of continuous research funding from the National Institutes of Health and more than 110 high-impact peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Rhodes' policy-oriented original research covers health care access, disparity, doctor-patient communication, domestic violence, smoking cessation, mental health, substance abuse, including opioid abuse, maternal-child health, and the quality of hospital discharge instructions. Her applied work in population health and value-based care at Northwell has given her an in-depth appreciation for the challenges and importance of aligning incentives across the care continuum for optimal health outcomes.

For more than 40 years, the non-partisan RWJF Health Policy Fellows program has offered exclusive, hands-on policy experience in the nation's capital. Working closely with key players in federal health policy, more than 250 fellows have participated in the policy process at the federal level and used that leadership experience to improve health, health care and health policy.

The National Academy of Medicine conducts and administers the fellowship with funding support from RWJF.

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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State's largest health care provider and private employer, with 22 hospitals and over 550 outpatient facilities. We care for more than two million people annually in the metro New York area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 62,000 employees – 15,000+ nurses and about 3,900 physicians, including more than 2,800 members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We're making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine and the School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. And we offer health insurance through CareConnect. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit

Betty Olt
[email protected]

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