Nadine Braunstein is going to Washington.
The director of the Allied Health Program in the College of Health Professions, Braunstein is one of six selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for the prestigious RWJF Health Policy Fellows program. As part of the one-year program, Braunstein will apply her expertise in nutrition and health on Capitol Hill.
“This opens a new door with an incredible opportunity for me and for my students here at Towson,” Braunstein said. “There is a lot that needs to be addressed in this country and here in Baltimore to improve access to better health care and nutrition. Through this program, I can help facilitate that in Washington, D.C. and then bring back my experience to share with my students.”
Since 2011, Braunstein has overseen the implementation of the People’s Garden in the Southwest Baltimore neighborhood of Cherry Hill through a $60,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She has worked closely with the Farm Alliance of Baltimore City to address concerns of food access and security. Also, she leads efforts to improve access to nutritious food and eliminate food deserts in a battle against obesity.
“Dr. Braunstein has long been an advocate for the importance of nutrition as an essential aspect of quality health care and thus as an integral factor in health care policy,” said Towson University Provost Timothy Chandler.
“Her selection for this fellowship provides her with a wonderful platform for sharing her expertise regarding food deserts and working with communities to provide greater access to healthy food. We’re very proud of Dr. Braunstein’s work and know that students, faculty and the entire Towson community will benefit from her experience.”
The RWJF Health Policy Fellows program provides its participants with front-line experience in federal health policy-making. Braunstein and five others selected from across the country will first complete a three-month orientation program that enhances their familiarity with the process of policy-making before beginning a nine-month assignment in a congressional office or with the executive branch.
“I am pleased that Dr. Braunstein was selected for this prestigious fellowship opportunity. She will bring an important perspective to the critical discussions taking place on Capitol Hill and in the White House about Americans’ health and nutrition,” said Towson University President Maravene Loeschke.
“As a major educator of health professionals, Towson University is dedicated to the whole person. Through Nadine’s participation in this program, our students will gain great insights from the real-world experiences and leadership development activities during the coming year.”
The College of Health Professions offers a wide variety of academic programs for students interested in the health care industry. These programs have students reach out to people in area communities wherever possible, extending their education well beyond the classroom. In Fall 2012, the college launched the Institute for Well-Being as a structure for offering many of its community outreach programs.
Dean Charlotte Exner says that Braunstein’s work showcases the principles Towson seeks to impart to its students.
“At Towson we prepare our students to meet the needs of the health care industry and lead the next generation of health professionals,” said Exner. “It’s not just about learning in the classroom, but being able to integrate that classroom knowledge with skills that allow them to have a positive effect on the well-being of others.
“Dr. Braunstein is outstanding in her dedication to sharing this commitment with her students as part of their education. With her exceptional knowledge and commitment to the health of communities, I couldn’t be more excited to see the impact she will have on national health policy via this outstanding fellowship opportunity.”