The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation selected Dr. Y. Claire Wang, of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, as a Health Policy Fellow for 2015-2016. Dr. Wang is associate professor of health policy and management and co-directs Columbia’s Obesity Prevention Initiative, a cross-disciplinary team focusing on environmental and policy approaches to obesity. She is also the faculty director of the Comparative Effectiveness and Outcomes Research MPH certificate program. Established in 1973 and administered by the Institute of Medicine, the Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellows program is among the most prestigious in health science and public policy.
[Photo: Dr. Wang]
Beginning in September, Dr. Wang will spend a year in Washington D.C. working at the nexus of health science, policy, and politics and actively participating in health policy formation at the federal level by working closely with members of Congress and the executive branch. Dr. Wang was selected in the national competition for this fellowship because of her expertise and professional achievements and potential for leadership in health policy.
In her scholarship, Dr. Wang focuses on developing and evaluating policies to promote healthy choices and to address the obesity epidemic in adults and in children. She has evaluated several state and city-level policies such as a penny-an-ounce excise tax on soda and portion size cap on sugary drinks served in restaurants. Her current research assesses the cost-effectiveness of broad-reaching policy strategies to improve dietary choices, especially among school children and individuals who are food insecure. In 2012, she won the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Childhood Obesity Challenge for creating the Caloric Calculator (CaloricCalculator.org), an online interactive tool to help policymakers, school administrators, and others assess the potential impact of health policy choices on childhood obesity.