Josh Robbins Receives HealtheVoices Impact Fund Award

Launching the first #HealthAdvocateDay in 2019

Robbins Wins Financial Support Award; Launching #HealthAdvocateDay in 2019

The first awareness day to recognize, support, and honor health condition peer patient advocates is officially launching and is now completely funded through a generous grant from the Community Foundation of NJ—by HealtheVoices Impact Fund supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals.

Today I was chosen to receive a generous financial award by HealtheVoices Impact Fund, through the Community Foundation of NJ and funded through a grant supported by Janssen Pharmaceuticals to launch the first ever health advocate awareness day in 2019.

The competitive application process I completed during the summer of 2018 was both intensive and rewarding—requiring me to concept a project that was meaningful to the larger health advocate community, was termed with a beginning, middle, and end, advanced the greater health iniatives of chronic health advocates, and could be completed under a $7500 award maximum.


#HealthAdvocateDay Project

#HealthAdvocateDay will celebrate the unique collaborative efforts of independent peer advocates of every health condition and acknowledge the importance these individuals bring to health.

#HealthAdvocateDay stands for Peer Health Advocates Awareness Day.

Project Overview

Currently, there is no national awareness day for peer health advocates in the United States. This must change. And this project is the impetus for bringing this change to market by launching an official peer health advocate national awareness day. Without the recognition of (the importance of) peer health advocates, there is no guarantee that this important function and resource in health will continue.

Research into peer health advocates is lacking based on the vast scope of a firm definition. Published in The American Journal of Orthopsychiatry in “Peer Interventions to Promote Health: Conceptual Considerations” authors write: “Peers are increasingly recognized as potentially powerful agents in promoting health and well-being. Future research and implementation work in this area, if carefully conducted, can contribute to their success.” [Am J Orthopsychiatry. 2011 Jul; 81(3): 351–359.doi: 10.1111/j.1939-0025.2011.01103.x]

According to their website:

The HealtheVoices™ Impact Fund is a grant program that supports innovative efforts by health advocates to serve and assist patient communities. The Fund was established at the Community Foundation of New Jersey (CFNJ) and awards projects that align with the Janssen charitable giving mission to advance healing for patients. With guidance from an Advisory Committee of experienced advocates and past HealtheVoices attendees, CFNJ awards grants to projects that propose innovative ways to engage, inform and empower patients, with special preference to efforts targeting underserved populations, healthcare disparities, high unmet areas of need or those with a large scope of impact.

How was I selected for this award?

“The review, evaluation and selection of the recipients, as well as funding distribution will be handled by CFNJ with input from the HealtheVoices™ Impact Fund Advisory Committee, comprised of several experienced online patient and caregiver advocates selected for their advocacy efforts. Janssen is not involved in the application review or selection process.”

In order to launch this project, as soon as it is funded officially, I will continue. At the moment, we have opened applications for the Planning Advisory Council to be made up of Chronic Health Peer Advocates (and it will pay a small honorarium for time). Visit and follow our Twitter profile to apply. Deadline is November 1, 2018.

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