The Robbins Bridge Program was first initiated in 2008 when Dr. Robert Haynie, Associate Dean of the Robbins Society at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, forged a new relationship with a local Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) innovative high school, the Cleveland School of Science and Medicine (CSSM). The proximity of the high school (located at the intersection of Stokes Blvd and Carnegie Ave) to the Case Western Reserve University campus made it a natural fit for collaboration. Dr. Haynie, who sits on the Board of Trustees at CSSM, was eager to inject medical curriculum into a ninth through twelfth grade institution to stir a passion for medicine in the students of Cleveland.
Working with Jason Balkman, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine alumnus, Dr. Haynie launched programming that offered tutoring in the premedical curriculum and college preparatory skill building. This work soon attracted the attention of Brian McDonald, the Executive Director of the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation. The investment from the Joan C. Edwards Charitable Foundation allowed Dr. Haynie to realize his true vision of building a pipeline of CMSD high school students to the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. It was the perfect merger of the mission of the Robbins Bridge Program and Joan C. Edwards' philanthropic spirit.