Powell selected for Aspen Institute Fellowship, will join entrepreneurial leaders mobilized to improve US health care

July 14, 2016

Dr. Wizdom Powell, headshot

Dr. Wizdom Powell

Wizdom Powell, PhD, associate professor of health behavior at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, was selected July 12 to receive one of the Aspen Institute’s second annual Health Innovators Fellowships.

The Institute, a nonpartisan forum for values-based leadership and the exchange of ideas, is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

Powell was one of 21 health-care professionals from across the U.S. chosen to participate in the two-year fellowship, which is designed to strengthen participants’ leadership skills and challenge them to develop new approaches to improve the health and well-being of all Americans.

Fellows hail from a wide variety of health-care industries and sectors—including medicine, pharmaceuticals, public health, biotechnology, insurance, mental health, government, venture capital, genomics and others.

“I am delighted to welcome this talented and inspiring group of health care leaders with a track record of accomplishments and the potential for even greater contributions in the future,” said Rima Cohen, managing director of the Health Innovators Fellowship. “The fellows bring a diverse set of life experiences and skills to their work; we’re thrilled to be able to give them a platform from which they can harness their energy and expertise to tackle our nation’s most pressing health care challenges.”

The Aspen Institute launched the Fellowship in 2015 in partnership with the Greenville Health System, South Carolina’s largest not-for-profit health-care system and an advocate for healthy living initiatives across the state.

“The Health Innovators Fellowship challenges leaders to create meaningful change in health care,” said Michael C. Riordan, president and chief executive officer of Greenville Health System. “We are excited to partner with the Aspen Institute and witness the power of the fellows’ collective ability to innovate care.”

The Health Innovator Fellows will spend four weeks over the course of two years exploring their leadership skills, core values, desired legacies and their vision for the U.S. health-care system. They will commit to launching a leadership venture that will have a positive impact on health care in the U.S.

“I am so honored to join this impressive group of health-care leaders,” Powell said, “and to use this opportunity to design a venture aimed at improving health equity for underserved communities.”


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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu