PhD student Lily Chen completes RWJF Clinical Scholar Program

The School of Nursing proudly congratulates PhD student Lily Chen on her successful completion of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Clinical Scholar Program. Lily, along with her dedicated team of professionals, celebrated their graduation as part of the last cohort of the program from 2020 to 2023. 

The RWJF Clinical Scholar Program is a leadership training initiative that equips healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge to lead transformative changes within their communities, promote health and well-being, and reduce disparities in healthcare.  

Throughout her journey in the program, Lily, alongside two psychiatrists, Dr. Justin Chen and Dr. Juliana Chen from Harvard, and Dr. Weiyang Xie from the University of Illinois in Chicago, undertook a mission to address critical mental health challenges in Asian American communities. Their work centered on developing and disseminating a culturally tailored, evidence-informed toolkit focused on mental health awareness, stigma reduction, and help-seeking. This toolkit aimed to reduce suicide risk and empower Asian immigrant families to lead healthier lives. 

The graduation ceremony took place in Puerto Rico and brought together Lily and her fellow scholars from across the nation. The cohort consisted of 44 dedicated members, organized into seven teams, each of which embarked on their unique missions to drive positive change in healthcare.  

Dr. Cheryl Giscombe, a member of the Clinical Scholar’s designing advisory team and Lily’s mentor and dissertation chair, was an invited speaker. Dr. Giscombe contributed her insights on health disparities, further underscoring the importance of addressing these critical issues. Lily’s significant role in the program was highlighted as she delivered a “Big Idea Talk” in the style of a TED Talk on behalf of her team, named “Breaking Silence.” 

Lily’s “Big Idea Talk” has already made a remarkable impact, garnering over 2,000 views within a few weeks. In her talk, she addressed the silent struggles faced by parents across the country who have tragically lost their children to accidental deaths, including suicide. Her presentation emphasizes the need to break the silence and stigma surrounding these issues. To watch the full presentation, see video below.