Penn State Professor Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

May 3, 2007

Dr. Dennis Scanlon, associate professor of health policy and administration in the Penn State College of Health and Human Development, has been awarded a four-year, $3.4-million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

The funding will be used to conduct an evaluation of an RWJF national initiative called Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q). The program aims to improve health care quality by helping stakeholders — patients, physicians, employers, insurers, and others — to work together to redesign communities‚ health systems.

The role of Scanlon and his research team is to evaluate the impact of the AF4Q program in fourteen communities. In particular, they will focus on whether the program resulted in changes in the care of those with chronic illnesses as well as improvements in structures and processes that can lead to improved health care.

Scanlon's research focuses on national efforts to reduce medical errors and improve health care quality. He is a recipient of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator in Health Policy Research Award and also has received funding from the Centers for Disease Control, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, The California HealthCare Foundation and the Integrated Benefits Institute.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need–the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit

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Editors: For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or