Matt Longjohn

Matt Longjohn, M.D., M.P.H., is the National Health Officer at the YMCA of the USA (Y-USA).  In that capacity, he oversees a team of ~30 content experts and technical advisors charged with developing evidence-based policies, programs and practices; and then to bring these resources to national scale through the Y’s ~900 non-profit organizations, 2700 facilities, and 10,000 program sites. These programs and practices include: Healthy Communities Initiatives (i.e., Community Transformation Grants, Pioneering Healthy Communities, and Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health); the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program; the LIVESTRONG at the YMCA cancer survivorship program; EnhanceFitness (for persons with arthritis); Moving for Better Balance (falls prevention), blood pressure self-management and childhood obesity prevention programs, and initiatives to help individuals and families become aware of and obtain clinical preventive services.  These efforts involve hundreds of local Ys around the country, and most are supported by Cooperative Agreements with the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control.  Since 2012, Longjohn has led a successful effort to win a Cooperative Agreement with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation to deliver the YMCA’s DPP to Medicare enrollees—and to demonstrate a projected $37 million savings to Medicare overt 6 years. 

Longjohn also played a leading strategic role in developing the Y’s national commitment to bring 85% of 9,700+ early childhood and after school care programs into compliance with new healthy eating and physical activity standards. This commitment was announced with First Lady Michelle Obama in November 2011. Beginning in 2016, he is directing a $12M grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to develop a field of Community Integrated Health, in which community-based organizations are positioned to be critical partners in health care transformation. He serves on a number of national advisory committees related to pediatric obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease prevention.  In addition to his work with the Y, Dr. Longjohn is also an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Departments of Pediatrics and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Previously, he has served as the founding executive director of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC), a Fellow at the Altarum Institute where he directed early childhood obesity prevention projects in 9 states, and as a public health program and policy development consultant to foundations, non-profits, and government agencies.  Longjohn received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Kalamazoo College and his M.D. and M.P.H. from Tulane University.  He lives in southwest Michigan with his wife and two boys.

Contributed To

Go to top