Robert (Bob) Atkins has spent his adulthood trying to improve the health and well-being of vulnerable children and families living in distressed, urban neighborhoods through service, scholarship, and education.
An Associate Professor at Rutgers University, Bob currently serves the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as National Program Director of its New Jersey Health Initiatives (NJHI) program. NJHI is the Foundation’s signature statewide grantmaking program.
Bob has a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science and American Civilizations from Brown University and Bachelor’s 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 of children living in distressed environments.
Through his scholarly work and practice Bob has become a leader in shaping the policy and practice that influences the health and well-being of vulnerable populations living in high, poverty neighborhoods. Dr. Atkins has authored and co-authored in journals ranging from Research in Nursing and Health to Psychological Science to the Journal of Public Health Dentistry, discussed his practice and research locally and nationally, and has been honored for his teaching and service.