Bob Atkins, PhD, RN, FAAN is director of New Jersey Health Initiatives and an Associate Professor at Rutgers University with a joint appointment in Nursing and Childhood Studies. Dr. Atkins has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and American Civilizations from Brown University and Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.
Fresh out of nursing school, Bob moved to the city of Camden where he worked as a school nurse at East Camden Middle School and co-founded the Camden STARR Program, a non-profit youth development program dedicated to improving the life chances of youth living in Camden. Bob’s work in Camden motivated him to complete a PhD in the Department of Public Health at Temple University to better understand the factors that influence the health and well-being of children living in vulnerable communities.
Bob is a life long New Jersey resident and is committed to building healthier communities across the state through effective collaborations and partnerships, meaningful conversations across sectors, and evidence-based innovations. For example, Bob leads several NJHI initiatives that engage more nurses (and school nurses) in building a Culture of Health in NJ.
Flexibility, coupled with rapid response, probably was the most important lesson grantmakers learned from the devastating health and economic crisis, says guest columnist Bob Atkins. But it wasn't the only lesson.