Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., is the fourth president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a position she assumed in January 2003. She originally joined the staff in April 2001 as the senior vice president and director, Health Care Group. Prior to coming to the Foundation, Lavizzo-Mourey was the Sylvan Eisman Professor of Medicine and Health Care Systems at the University of Pennsylvania, as well as director of the Institute on Aging. She was the deputy administrator of the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research now known as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality within the Department of Health and Human Services. While in government service, Lavizzo-Mourey worked on the White House Health Care Policy team, including the White House Task Force on Health Care Reform where she co-chaired the working group on Quality of Care. Lavizzo-Mourey has served on many federal advisory committees, including the Task Force on Aging Research; the National Committee for Vital and Health Statistics, where she chaired the Subcommittee on Minority Populations; and the President's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry. She recently completed work as co-director of a congressionally requested Institute of Medicine study on racial disparities in health care resulting in the publication of Unequal Treatment, Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health Care. She is the author of scores of articles and several books. Lavizzo-Mourey is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. She is the recipient of eight honorary doctorates and numerous other awards, including those received from the Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Health and Human Services, The National Academy of Sciences, American College of Physicians, National Library of Medicine, American Medical Women’s Association, National Medical Association and University of Pennsylvania. Lavizzo-Mourey earned a medical degree at Harvard Medical School, followed by a master of business administration at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. After completing a residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania, where she received her geriatrics training.
The CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation calls for improved access to healthcare information so patients can decide if operations and therapies are actually needed.