SSW Doctoral Student Selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar

Alberto Cifuentes Jr

Doctoral student Alberto Cifuentes Jr., was recently selected as a member of the 2018 cohort of the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Research Scholars (HPRS) program.

“I am excited and honored to be selected as a Health Policy Research Scholar” stated Alberto. “My research explores the relationship between stigma and the sexual health outcomes of commercial sex workers. The HPRS program will greatly help me analyze my data and findings under the lens of policy advocacy and practice. I will also be collaborating with a diverse group of bright and creative scholars all across the nation on community-based projects and be mentored by prominent researchers in the realm of public health and policy”.

This highly competitive HPRS program is one of four initiatives within the foundation’s broader National Leadership Program, and seeks to invest in and support scholars from underserved and/or underrepresented backgrounds “whose research and leadership will help shape policy toward a Culture of Health.” The program supports second-year PhD students from a variety of academic disciplines and backgrounds that plan to use their research “to advance equitable and inclusive policy and practice” in order to “help build healthier and more equitable communities.” Recipients will receive financial support for four years to facilitate completion of their dissertation and related research, and have the opportunity to participate in peer learning opportunities and receive mentorship as part of an interdisciplinary national network.

Dr. Cristina Wilson, Alberto’s academic mentor, noted that through this funding, “Alberto will be positioned as a health policy research scholar on sexual health inequities among men who have sex with men and sex workers. This is a unique opportunity that will allow him to become a leader in creating social policy change and expanding access to healthcare and other social services for these vulnerable communities.”