News Release: Emory Healthcare

Aug. 12,  2009

Emory Hospital Chief Resident Chosen for National Fellowship to Lead Healthcare Transformation

News Article ImageRosette Chakkalakal, MD

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program has selected Rosette Chakkalakal, MD, chief medical resident at Emory University Hospital, for a prestigious two-year fellowship. Chakkalakal will join the 2010-2012 cohort of physicians who will learn to conduct innovative research and work with communities, organizations, practitioners and policy-makers on issues important to the health and well being of all Americans. She will begin the fellowship in July 2010.

"Clinical Scholars are leading change through every level of the health care system, including community practice, local and state government, the federal government, and professional organizations," says Desmond K. Runyan, MD, DrPH, national program director for the Clinical Scholars Program.

Scholars conduct studies in diverse, health-related fields and receive leadership training as well as training and engagement in community-based, participatory research. Chakkalakal's research interests include understanding and addressing health disparities in minority populations and examining the role of gender bias in medical education. Most recently, she has been exploring the role of faith-based organizations in HIV education and testing for high-risk African-American populations.

Chakkalakal is among 29 outstanding young physicians who were selected competitively from applicants enrolled in medical and surgical residencies across the United States. She received her medical degree from the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami and completed her residency training in Internal Medicine in the Primary Care track at Emory University School of Medicine.

Carlos del Rio, MD, program director of the J. Willis Hurst Internal Medicine Residency at Emory University says "Rosette has been one of our most outstanding residents. She is a wonderful clinician, educator and leader. I am delighted that she was selected as an RWJF Clinical Scholar as she will undoubtedly be one of the future leaders of American medicine."

"I am honored to have an opportunity to contribute to the transformation of our health care system by working with the remarkable group of physicians and community leaders involved with the Clinical Scholars Program," says Chakkalakal. "I am also grateful to my mentors here at Emory for providing me with invaluable advice and guidance as a resident in the early stages of my career development."

Training for each new scholar will occur at one of four universities: Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Michigan, or the University of California, Los Angeles. Chakkalakal will spend two years at Yale examining the delivery, impact and organization of health care and will be prepared to become a leader in American medicine. She will join a distinguished group of over 1,100 alumni who include prominent leaders of public and private agencies at the state and national levels, five public health and medical school deans, 40 Institute of Medicine members, 19 medical school department chairs, over 100 vice chairs of departments or division chiefs, and numerous medical school professors.

The Clinical Scholars Program, established in 1969 and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation since 1972, is one of the oldest and most prestigious fellowships awarded to physicians. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be a partner supporting nine of the 29 Scholars.

For more information about the program and a full list of the 2010-2012 Clinical Scholars visit:


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, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service. Its components include schools of medicine, nursing, and public health; Yerkes National Primate Research Center; the Emory Winship Cancer Institute; and Emory Healthcare, the largest, most comprehensive health system in Georgia. The Woodruff Health Sciences Center has a $2.3 billion budget, 17,000 employees, 2,300 full-time and 1,900 affiliated faculty, 4,300 students and trainees, and a $4.9 billion economic impact on metro Atlanta.

Learn more about Emory’s health sciences:
Twitter: @emoryhealthsci

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