Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Princeton, NJ, United States

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Princeton, NJ, United States
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News Article | May 23, 2017

Character Playbook, an award-winning "Education, K-12 Course," is an example of the innovative approaches United Way and its partners are taking to support youth success. In response to the bullying reported by 62% of America's teaching professionals, and an increase in unhealthy behaviors that are surfacing in middle schools, Character PlaybookTM was developed as a digital learning initiative sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) and United Way. Since its launch one year ago, more than 56,000 students in more than 560 schools have completed nearly 208,000 Character Playbook modules. Character Playbook uses evidence-based strategies to educate students on how to maintain healthy relationships during their critical middle school years. The graphic novel style of the course engages students in interactive educational activities that challenge them to better understand their own values and relationships with others, and get on a path towards an emotionally healthy future. The program is so unique and timely, that it was recently recognized with a GOLD Stevie Award in the "New Product of the Year, Education, K-12 Course or Learning Management Solution" Category by the American Business Awards. "Good character is a critical building block of strong individuals and strong communities," said Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide.  "By helping young people develop and recognize healthy relationships and stand up to bullying, Character Playbook is providing our next generation with the tools to succeed – and it becomes another great example of how the NFL and United Way are combining the love of team with a deep commitment to community to make a difference." United Way is involved in other initiatives to promote youth success, such as: * County Health Rankings & Roadmaps Framework:  Through a partnership with Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, United Way works to change the way communities see health and wellness.  The County Health Rankings & Roadmap Framework produced by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute creates annual rankings of every county in every state – these rankings can then start local conversations about what makes each community healthy and how new partnerships can create stronger communities where youth can succeed.  United Ways across America use the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tools to help improve education and economic prospects, and to support healthy behavior among young people. For example, United Way of Central Ohio's comprehensive strategy to reduce poverty, which is informed by the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, is inclusive of "home"—place based strategies that support safe neighborhoods and decent housing. Programs that create meaningful activities for youth are a critical component of "home." By working with partners such as The Ohio State University and Nationwide Children's Hospital, United Way of Central Ohio has leveraged their resources to build and renovate affordable housing and create healthier neighborhoods for people to live, work, play, and succeed. Learn more about the health of our communities at: Additionally, hundreds of local United Ways are working every day with educators, parents, policymakers and other partners to improve education in their communities. This work ranges from helping at-risk middle schoolers gain access to after-school enrichment programs, to connecting struggling students with the supports they need to succeed, to helping first generation college students obtain post-secondary degrees.  Below are some community-based examples: United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.8 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide, and more than $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world's largest privately-funded nonprofit. We're engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit, Read our annual report:  Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

News Article | May 28, 2017

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce the election of four new officers and four new board members. The new officers elected at the ABFM’s spring board meeting in April are: Elizabeth Baxley, MD of Greenville, North Carolina elected as Chair; Jerry Kruse, MD of Springfield, Illinois as Chair-Elect; Montgomery Douglas, MD of West Hartford, Connecticut as Treasurer, and Joseph Gravel, Jr., MD of Lawrence, Massachusetts as Member-at-Large, Executive Committee. In addition, the ABFM welcomes this year’s new members to the Board of Directors: Beth Bortz of Richmond, Virginia; Lauren Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, John Mellinger, MD of Springfield, Illinois, and Daniel Spogen, MD of Sparks, Nevada. The new ABFM officers will each serve a one-year term: Dr. Baxley is a Professor of Family Medicine and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, where she has served since 2012. Before joining the faculty at Brody, she spent 18 years at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, serving as Residency Director and later as Chair of the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine. Dr. Kruse is a Professor in both the Department of Family & Community Medicine and Medical Education as well as Dean and Provost of the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine. Prior to this, Dr. Kruse spent 9 years as the Executive Director of the Quincy Family Medicine Programs, and 19 years on the faculty of the Quincy Family Practice Residency Program; serving as Assistant Program Director for 9 years and as Program Director for 12 years. Dr. Douglas is Chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center. He previously served as Chairman of the Department of Family and Community Medicine and Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion at New York Medical College. Dr. Gravel is the Chief Medical Officer and the Chair of Family Medicine & Community Health at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center. He served as a residency program director for 20 years. He is a Past President of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors, the Massachusetts Academy of Family Physicians, and the Family Medicine Education Consortium. He currently also serves as Chair of the Academic Family Medicine Advocacy Committee and on the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine's Board of Directors. Dr. Gravel is a Professor of Family Medicine & Community Health at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The ABFM welcomes four new members to the Board of Directors: Ms. Bortz is the President and CEO of the Virginia Center for Health Innovation, a nonprofit established in 2012 to accelerate the adoption of value-driven health care in the Commonwealth. Ms. Bortz currently serves on the Board of Directors of Virginia Health Information, LEAD Virginia, and the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School Foundation. Dr. Hughes is a practicing family physician and Deputy Secretary for Health Innovation in the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Prior to joining the Department, she was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Michigan where she studied health services research. Dr. Mellinger is a professor of surgery at Southern Illinois University, where he also serves as Chair of the Division of General Surgery and Program Director of the General Surgery Residency. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Spogen is a professor at the University of Nevada School of Medicine, where he also serves as Chair of the school’s Department of Family Medicine and as the Director of Medical Education. He is also the Medical Director and Faculty Advisor of the school’s Student Outreach Clinic. Dr. Spogen recently served as a Director on the AAFP’s Board of Directors. The remaining current members of the Board are: Wendy Biggs, MD of Overland Park, Kansas; John Brady, MD of Newport News, Virginia; Colleen Conry, MD of Aurora, Colorado; Christopher A. Cunha, MD of Crestview Hills, Kentucky; Lorna Anne Lynn, MD of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Michael K. Magill, MD of Salt Lake City, Utah; Robert J. Ronis, MD, MPH of Cleveland, Ohio; David E. Soper, MD of Charleston, South Carolina; Keith Stelter, MD of Mankato, Minnesota, and Melissa Thomason of Pinetops, North Carolina.

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - A group of leading organizations from the behavioral science community today launched the Behavioral Evidence Hub, a comprehensive resource that brings together some of the world's most promising innovative solutions into a single tool, putting them within easy reach of all those working to solve a wide range of intractable problems affecting the wellbeing and livelihood of people around the world. The website,, includes evidence-based initiatives that offer deep insight into tough problems negatively impacting people in the U.S. and globally -- from staying in college and increasing savings rates to improving medication adherence and vaccination uptake. The site also features solutions and implementation guidelines for practitioners interested in using the insights and innovations in their own work. Backed by leading experts, the solutions featured on the B-Hub are focused on applying behavioral science for social good. The goal of the new site is to bridge the gap between promising academic research and large-scale deployment of behaviorally-informed solutions in products, systems and programs. With the launch of the B-Hub, practitioners can now easily access potential new solutions across a wide range of problem domains including health, education, criminal justice, environmental conservation, and financial inclusion. The B-Hub's easy-to-use format enables users to discover insights by problem domain, geography or solution format. Users can browse through the curated database of content, focus on specific insights that might be applicable to their own work, or run their existing programs through a checklist to determine how behaviorally optimized it is. The site is open-source and supported by contributions from the researchers and organizations producing the innovations and solutions. It was built by a community of experts including ideas42, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (CHIBE). Ongoing content development is supported by a growing network of contributors including the Behavioral Insights Group at the Harvard Kennedy School, the OECD, and the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority. The site is made possible in part by support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and others. In a joint statement, the founding organizations ideas42, IPA, and CHIBE said, "The path to expansive social impact through applied behavioral science is now clearer than ever. The B-Hub is an invaluable tool for researchers, government experts and other practitioners engaged in finding solutions to tough problems. This platform provides insights that can help drive change more effectively -- and often at low cost. The B-Hub was created with the core mission of centralizing knowledge, increasing social impact, and tracking the growth of applied behavioral interventions around the world. It's easy to use, contains effective solutions, and we hope it becomes a go-to resource for problem-solvers everywhere."

News Article | May 10, 2017

The National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) honors Sharon A. Wilkerson as a 2017-2018 inductee into its VIP Woman of the Year Circle. She is recognized with this prestigious distinction for leadership in entrepreneurship. NAPW is the nation’s leading networking organization exclusively for professional women, boasting more than 850,000 members, a thriving eChapter and over 200 operating Local Chapters. “I’m pleased to welcome Sharon into this exceptional group of professional women,” said NAPW President Star Jones. “Her knowledge and experience in her industry are valuable assets to her company and community.” For three decades, Sharon Wilkerson, Ph.D., has been a leader in nursing education. As Founding Dean of the Texas A&M College of Nursing, she helped to build the college from the ground up, and under her leadership, the college has seen tremendous growth. From an inaugural class of 44 baccalaureate nursing students in 2008, on one campus, the college has grown to include 437 BSN students at four locations. Recently, the college was named a Center of Excellence by the National League of Nursing. “My areas of expertise include leadership, curriculum and faculty development,” said Wilkerson. “This honor highlights the many programs that I have started.” Before joining Texas A&M, Wilkerson held administrative and teaching roles in nursing at several institutions, including Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Purdue University, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Wayne State University, Detroit and the University of Pennsylvania. Awards & Accomplishments: Ph.D., Wayne State University, Nursing; Completed post-doctoral clinical nurse scholar fellowship with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, University of Rochester; Master of Science, University of Pennsylvania, Nursing, specializing in Pediatrics and Nursing Education; Bachelor of Science, University of Houston, Psychology; Bachelor of Science, University of Hawaii, Nursing; Diploma Graduate, Hermann Hospital School of Nursing; Academy of Nursing Education, Fellow; Texas A&M University Distinguished Achievement Award for Administration, Spring 2016 About NAPW NAPW’s mission is to provide an exclusive, highly advanced networking forum to successful women executives, professionals and entrepreneurs where they can aspire, connect and achieve. Through innovative resources, unique tools and progressive benefits, professional women interact, exchange ideas, advance their knowledge and empower each other.

Selected from nearly 620,000 entries nationwide, these three schools are the 2017 grand prize winners and will be awarded $30,000 in cash and sporting goods and a new PlayCubesTM Playground from Playworld, a leading manufacturer of imaginative playground and fitness equipment (entire prize package valued at $60,405 each).  Randolph Elementary School was the first winner ever of the grand prize to a U.S. military base or installation for a school or community organization serving the children of active duty military. Sunset Park Elementary was awarded the grand prize for a school that qualifies for Title I funding due to the number of students receiving free or reduced price lunch. "Welch Elementary is so excited about our Healthy Playground grant.  Our mission is, 'We Ensure the Success of Each Student'.  In order for students to be successful, they must be well rounded and feel good about themselves.  This will give our students the opportunity to get fit and show their success." – Janice Smith, Principal, Welch Elementary School "As an urban school located near downtown Wilmington, qualifying for a 100% free breakfast and lunch program, many of our families struggle to initiate and/or maintain a healthy lifestyle. This prize will allow us to focus some of our energy and resources into assisting our students and families to learn how a healthy lifestyle will help them achieve their goals.  As you know, a healthy body and mind are keys to success." – Diego Lehocky, Principal, Sunset Park Elementary School "Wow!  A new playground for our kids!  A playground is the place for children to develop not only physically but emotionally.  It's every child's dream and for the military child, it's the best place to be to meet a new friend." – Allana Hemenway, Principal, Randolph Elementary School, Randolph Field Independent School District. The Smart from the Start Awards empower preschool teachers to strategize wellness initiatives using the free Smart from the Start Pre-K curriculum in their classrooms. Sacred Heart School in Camden, NJ will receive a $20,000 grant for their action plan to focus on eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and incorporating more physical activity in and out of the classroom.  Sacred Heart students lack access to green space for physical activity and high rates of violence and crime make many parents hesitant about letting their children play outdoors. To improve health and wellness habits for their students, Sacred Heart School used the Smart from the Start lessons to get their preschoolers moving more while also making efforts to include fresh produce in meals and snacks. In addition, parents received a newsletter on nutrition. Sacred Heart School will use the award grant to create an outdoor classroom, develop a Health and Wellness Library with resources for students to bring home, and purchase cooking equipment to enable the school to have family cooking nights. "We are so grateful for this award and the long-term impact it will have! We are eager and excited to make investments in equipment and materials that will enhance nutrition and physical activity for our children for years to come, both at school and in partnership with their families." – Cheryl Heatwole, Montessori Preschool teacher, Sacred Heart School. To see a comprehensive list of all winners and prizes please visit, Established in 2010, the Together Counts program is a comprehensive health and wellness initiative designed to encourage students, educators and families to live healthy lifestyles. Since the program's launch, a total of more than $1.6M has been awarded to deserving schools across the country.  Available at no cost, the program offers educators and students nationwide standards-based curriculum, as well as the chance to win cash grants and equipment for their schools. Updated in 2016 to address overall wellness, lesson plans tailored to Pre-K, K-2 and 3-5 teach goal-planning skills and strategies for developing lifelong resilience. All lesson plans, family resources and incentive programs can be found at; follow @TogetherCounts on Twitter and Facebook. "Empowering children to make healthy decisions that become healthy habits for life is a top priority in the battle to reverse obesity rates," said Becky Johnson, Executive Director of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation.  "Rewarding schools that develop and implement innovative healthy lifestyle programs is the perfect way to honor their leadership and develop a compendium of best practices that can be adopted in other communities at the same time. We are proud to support these programs and congratulate all of the winners." "Discovery Education is proud of our continued partnership with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation to reward schools across America through the Healthy Playground Makeover Sweepstakes and Smart from the Start Awards for their impactful efforts on improving students' health and wellness," said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. "These programs offer the opportunity to teach the importance of health and wellness, and help establish healthy habits for students early on." About Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) is a broad-based not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help reduce obesity, especially childhood obesity, by encouraging positive and permanent lifestyle changes among school-aged children and their families. The Foundation develops and implements innovative and collaborative educational, marketplace and community solutions with its coalition of 300 corporate and not-for-profit partners.  Through its free, award-winning Together Counts™ wellness curriculum, the Foundation has reached more than 44 million students in the U.S. As the first commitment to former First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move initiative and verified by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, HWCF's food and beverage company members gave consumers more lower calorie options by removing 6.4 trillion calories from their products– surpassing their pledge by more than 400 percent three years ahead of schedule. In June 2016 the program expanded internationally with the launch of the Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future at the World Economic Forum in Medellín, Colombia. About Discovery Education Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education's services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools in the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at About Playworld Playworld is a division of PlayPower® Inc. and believes The World Needs Play®. Play is vital to everyone's health and well-being. It's something you are never too young or too old to enjoy. We develop playground environments where creativity is king, belly laughs are welcome and children make the rules. Playworld equipment is designed to unleash the transformational power of play so bodies grow stronger, children play safely and imagination can take flight. For over 45 years, Playworld has created innovative, inclusive and meaningful outdoor play experiences for all ages and abilities. Visit To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

To reach this goal, Council will engage the national Cooperative Extension System (CES), which includes land-grant universities that serve every county and parish in the United States, to help local Health Councils implement action plans that ensure all community members can be healthier at every stage of life. Leveraging 4-H's proven youth leadership model, youth will work alongside community members, local public health organizations, businesses, government entities, and non-profit agencies to address top public health priorities, such as individual and community well-being, prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and reductions in health care costs. "For more than 100 years, 4-H has engaged youth as catalyst and game-changers to drive positive outcomes in their local communities," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO, National 4-H Council. "Given all that we know about the power of youth innovation and leadership, we could not be more excited to partner with RWJF in this effort to activate today's youth to help solve the critical health challenges facing today's families." "We are so proud and excited to be partnering with National 4-H Council to help improve the health in rural communities. No organization is better positioned to empower youth to lead the charge in improving health. Everyone deserves the opportunity to be healthier—no matter who they are or where they live. Through this partnership we hope to engage every sector—business, education, health, housing—to create the opportunity for health and well-being in all communities," said Richard Besser, MD, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. To begin this ten-year partnership, Council will work with five land-grant universities (LGUs) to identify a minimum of three communities to develop an action plan and connect with at least 150 volunteers to mentor youth leaders, build local capacity and ensure successful implementation of the action plan. The five selected land-grant universities include: South Dakota State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee and Utah State University. These universities were selected, in part, based on their preparedness to drive innovation for other communities and to implement the pilot projects at scale. Washington State University will serve as a lead consultant on professional development for the participating communities. An additional 56 LGUs will begin to lay the groundwork for expansion into further communities in the future. The partnership will focus on three key elements to accomplish transformational change: (1) designing a sustainable network structure to promote health and well-being in communities across the nation; (2) creating and disseminating tools for healthier communities; and (3) launching a training curriculum for local community advocates. This approach will exponentially increase the impact and outcomes of the local Health Councils to drive impactful, sustainable changes. Michelle Rodgers, PhD, project director and associate dean and director of Cooperative Extension, University of Delaware, says one of the unique aspects of the CES approach is that one initiative can drive outcomes for both rural and urban communities. "This initiative taps into everything that the Cooperative Extension System has done well since we were formed over a century ago as the national education and community development program of the nation's land-grant universities," said Rodgers. "When we combine this with America's philanthropy leader in health, it is amazing to envision the transformative impact we will have in communities throughout the country." 4‑H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4‑H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4‑H is the youth development program of our nation's Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4‑H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4‑H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Learn more about 4‑H at www.4‑, find us on Facebook at WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/4‑H and on Twitter at HTTPS://TWITTER.COM/4H. For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit Follow the Foundation on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Leviton L.C.,Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Annual Review of Public Health | Year: 2017

Public health researchers and practitioners are calling for greater focus on external validity, the ability to generalize findings of evidence-based interventions (EBIs) beyond the limited number of studies testing effectiveness. For public health, the goal is applicability: to translate, disseminate, and implement EBIs for an impact on population health. This article is a review of methods and how they might be combined to better assess external validity. The methods include (a) better description of EBIs and their contexts; (b) combining of statistical tools and logic to draw inferences about study samples; (c) sharper definition of the theory behind the intervention and core intervention components; and (d) more systematic consultation of practitioners. For population impact, studies should focus on context features that are likely to be both important (based on program theory) and frequently encountered by practitioners. Mixed-method programs of research will allow public health to expand causal generalizations. Copyright ©2017 Annual Reviews.

Lavizzo-Mourey R.,Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Academic Medicine | Year: 2015

The United States spends $2.7 trillion a year on health care, more than any other country by far, and yet the U.S. population is not healthy. In fact, the United States loses $227 billion in productivity each year because of poor health. This is not sustainable-and it is the reason behind the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Culture of Health initiative. Culture of Health means so much more than simply not being sick. It means embracing a definition of health as outlined by the World Health Organization - A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being. And it means shifting the values-and the actions-in the United States so that health becomes a part of everything we do. Health is the bedrock of personal fulfillment. It is the backbone of prosperity and the key to creating a strong and competitive nation. With health, children can grow up making the most of life's opportunities. Businesses can rely on the vitality of workers to stay competitive, and the military can perform at its highest level. But there is no single way to cultivate health. This Commentary explores the principles behind the Culture of Health initiative and examines the role of academic medicine in achieving this vision. Different communities must come up with the approaches that serve them best. Only by working toward a common goal in unique ways will a true Culture of Health be attainable in the United States.

Hassmiller S.B.,Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health Affairs | Year: 2013

Throughout its history the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has made a deep commitment to nursing, investing more than $592 million in programs to sustain, grow, and reshape the nurse workforce. In recent years the foundation has adopted strategies to expand the impact and reach of its nursing grants. The RWJF supported the 2010 Institute of Medicine (IOM) study on the future of nursing, which envisioned expanded roles for nurses in the US health care system. Since then, the RWJF has invested heavily in implementing the IOM report's recommendations through the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a partnership with AARP. In the past three years, that report has been the most-read IOM publication. Also, "action coalitions" are working in fifty states and the District of Columbia to implement its recommendations; philanthropic partners are also supporting implementation; and leaders in academic and clinical nursing settings continue their work to advance nurse education, changes in scope of practice, and other IOM recommendations. © 2013 Project HOPE - The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

Wernham A.,Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Health Affairs | Year: 2011

The importance to public health of environmental decisions-including those about land use, transportation, power generation, agriculture, and environmental regulation-is increasingly well documented. Yet many decision makers in fields not traditionally focused on health continue to pay little if any attention to the important health effects of their work. This article examines the emerging practice of health impact assessment and offers real-world examples of its effective implementation, including studying the impact of nearby highways-a major source of air pollution-on proposed new housing for seniors. The article argues that officials at the federal, state, and local levels should consult health experts and consider using health impact assessments when their decisions on such issues as urban planning, land use, and environmental regulation have the potential to directly affect the conditions in which people live and work. © 2011 Project HOPE-The People-to-People Health Foundation, Inc.

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