Nursing student, faculty selected for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation leadership program

Published October 1, 2020


Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN, FAAN

Sharon Hewner.

Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN

Amanda Anderson.

We are proud to announce that University at Buffalo School of Nursing PhD student Amanda Anderson, MSN, MPA, RN, and Associate Professor Sharon Hewner, PhD, RN, FAAN have been selected to participate in one of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s leadership programs. These programs connect changemakers across the country — from every profession and field — to learn from and work with one another in creating more just and thriving communities.

Specifically, Hewner and Anderson were selected for Clinical Scholars, designed for teams of experienced health care providers from any discipline. In the program, fellows sharpen their leadership skills and collaborate on a project to address complex health problems, allowing them to gain new perspectives and expertise while extending their impact as professionals and as trusted community members.

As a member of the program’s newest cohort, Anderson and Hewner, in collaboration with Clinical Scholars fellows from the Buffalo City Mission (BCM) and Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), will focus on care transitions for medically complex homeless people in Buffalo. Their project is titled, “Crossing Sectors Together: Forging a New Path Home for Medically Complex Chronically Homeless Patients.”

“Buffalo has a homeless problem that is tricky to solve, especially for patients who are chronically ill,” says Anderson. “A third of Buffalo’s population lives below the federal poverty level, and we have rates of eviction that are higher than cities that are larger than us. We have issues with chronically homeless patients, people who are disabled or have chronic illnesses, who have lived on the streets multiple times per year. These are the people we see at the City Mission and also in our emergency rooms.”

“The collaboration with BCM and ECMC represents an opportunity for the health and social sectors to partner in developing a new model of care for medically complex homeless men and will lay the groundwork for a new type of cross-sector team to serve this vulnerable population,” Hewner says.

ECMC fellows include Donna Gatti, RN, and Deborah Heigl, RN, BSN; the Buffalo City Mission fellow is James Swift, BSW, MSW, LMSW.

To learn more about Clinical Scholars and RWJF’s other leadership programs, and to meet other participants, visit