Saint Louis University

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the nation's leading philanthropy on health and health care, has awarded Keon L. Gilbert, DrPH, MA, MPA, at Saint Louis University College for Public Health & Social Justice a grant through their New Connections program. Gilbert

Gilbert is among a select group of junior investigators to receive one of these 24-month grants. The grant will allow Gilbert to: synthesize the scientific evidence regarding the multiple determinants influencing African American men's preventative health behaviors; define and delineate a comprehensive research and practice agenda to address racial, ethnic and gender health disparities; and identify effective community-based intervention strategies and define priorities for policies to further aid African American men to access and utilize health care services and improve health behaviors. 

New Connections is a national program designed to introduce new scholars to RWJF and expand the diversity of perspectives that inform the Foundation's programming. New Connections seeks early to mid-career scholars who are historically underrepresented ethnic or racial minorities, first-generation college graduates, or individuals from low-income communities. 

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Keon L. Gilbert to a program that reflects the Foundation's commitment to increasing the diversity in our grant making and in the broader fields of health research." says Debra Pérez, Ph.D., M.P.A., M.A., Assistant Vice-President for Research and Evaluation at RWJF. "More than a grant opportunity, New Connections serves as a lifelong professional network for diverse researchers and evaluators," says Pérez. 

"I am extremely proud to be among the junior investigators and midcareer consultants honored with this prestigious grant," says Gilbert. "This award will connect me to a network of established experts in research and evaluation related to health and health care, while providing me with an opportunity to explore an understudied area of health disparities, and to establish a framework for understanding how to work with African American men to improve their access to and use of health care services and how to enhance health behaviors among individuals in this population.

This work is particularly relevant at this juncture in time given the increased access to care many African American men will receive as the result of the Affordable Care Act, as well as the increased attention in the literature to the physical and mental health needs of African American men. This grant opportunity is an important milestone in my career development as it connects me with the work of RWJF and a network of scholars and policy makers interested in eliminating health and health care disparities." 

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, RWJF works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change.

For 40 years, the Foundation has brought experience, commitment and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those we serve. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, RWJF expects to make a difference in your lifetime.