Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, longtime president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, announced Tuesday she is stepping down after nearly 14 years as head of the nation's largest philanthropic organization dedicated solely to health and healthcare issues.
Lavizzo-Mourey will remain in her role until a successor is chosen, according to a news release.
As the first woman and African-American to lead the organization, Lavizzo-Mourey launched efforts to curb childhood obesity and grew programs that helped individuals gain access to health insurance.
She also implemented new programs like the Commission to Build a Better America, a nonpartisan group that examines factors that influence health. The commission issued an influential report in 2009 that found good health is more dependent upon socio-economic and lifestyle factors than medical care alone, which accounts for only an estimated 10% to 15% of preventable early deaths.
Since then, social determinants have become a greater focus when considering preventive care.
A geriatrics specialist, Lavizzo-Mourey served as the Sylvan Eisman professor of medicine and healthcare systems at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
She also previously served as deputy administrator of what is now the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and worked on the White House Health Care Reform Task Force, co-chairing the working group on quality of care.
Lavizzo-Mourey has been named 11 times to Modern Healthcare's annual rankings of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare and 11 times to Modern Healthcare's 50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders.