Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program
The 2012-2013 application deadline is May 15, 2012.
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for professionals in health and aging to receive the experience and skills necessary to make a positive contribution to the development and implementation of health policies that affect older Americans.
The nine-to-12-month Program offers fellows the opportunity to participate in a residential track or a non-residential track. The residential track allows fellows to participate in the policymaking process on either the Federal or state level as legislative assistants in Congress, professional staff members in executive agencies or policy organizations. The non-residential track allows fellows to work on a policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites. Core program components focused on career development and professional enrichment are provided for fellows in both tracks. Fellows also have the opportunity to apply for second-year funding to continue components of their fellowship experience/project either at their placement sites, at the state/local levels, or with non-governmental organizations.
We are delighted to announce our partnership with the Healthy Aging Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For the 2012-2013 fellowship year, the CDC is again sponsoring a non-residential Health and Aging Policy Fellow.
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows program is directed by Harold Alan Pincus, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University (in collaboration with the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program) and made possible by the generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies.
The program is open to physicians, nurses and social workers with a demonstrated commitment to health and aging issues and a desire to be involved in health policy at the federal, state or local levels. Other professionals with clinical backgrounds (e.g., pharmacists, dentists, clinical psychologists) working in the field of health and aging are also eligible to apply. Under special circumstances, exceptions may be made for non-clinicians (e.g., public health administrators) who are in positions that can impact health policy for older Americans at a clinical level.
Applicants at all career stages are eligible to apply, with preference given to those early or midway through their careers. However, all applicants should specify how the program would meet their particular career goals.
Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. or its territories who have career plans that anticipate continued work in the U.S. after the fellowship period. The program seeks to achieve racial, ethnic, gender, and discipline diversity; applicants from groups that historically have been underrepresented are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Selection Committee will assess each applicant from the national pool based on the following criteria:
Commitment to health and aging issues and improving the health and well-being of older Americans
Potential for leadership in health policy
Professional qualifications and achievements
Impact of the fellowship experience on the applicant’s career
Interpersonal and communication skills
The NPO and Selection Committee will review all applications. Finalists will be scheduled for in-person interviews.
Fellowship Stipend and Other Financial Support
Stipends for residential fellows will vary and be commensurate with each individual’s current base salary (up to $120,000 annually, roughly approximate to the General Schedule (GS) Pay Scale for a board certified physician). In addition to a stipend, financial support will be provided for travel (for one trip for pre-fellowship arrangements and to fellowship-related meetings), relocation (up to $3,500), and health insurance (up to $400/month). The program does not cover employment taxes, compensate for retirement savings, or adjust the stipend for cost-of-living differences.
Non-residential fellows must submit a budget proposal of up to $30,000 to cover related fellowship and travel costs and may also include support for a portion of their time spent participating in program activities.
Travel costs to fellowship-related meetings for all fellows will be reimbursed by the NPO and are in addition to residential fellows’ stipends and non-residential fellows’ budgets.
The program will offer two different tracks:
A residential model that includes a nine-to-12-month placement in Washington, D.C. or at a state agency (as a legislative assistant in Congress, a professional staff member in an executive agency or in a policy organization); and
A non-residential model that includes a health policy project and brief placement(s) throughout the year at relevant sites (as opposed to a nine-to-12-month relocation). The health policy projects may be national, state, local, or institution-based.
Whereas the residential model provides fellows with a hands-on policy experience in settings that offer exposure to a wide range of policy issues, the non-residential model focuses on the completion of a specific health policy project with placement opportunities tailored to the fellows’ individual policy interests and background. Once selected, the NPO (along with staff from the American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship Program) will work with each fellow to identify appropriate projects, placements, and mentors.
Fellows in both tracks will to participate in core program components that are designed to provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to translate their work into policy action (see Core Program Components for Both Tracks).
Examples of residential placements for potential fellows include:
A fellow is placed in the office of a Representative whose district has a large percent of adults 65+. The fellow builds on the Congressman's interest and augments the office's expertise in issues around the future health care workforce for older Americans and increasing consumer involvement in Medicare (as well as other issues on the legislative agenda).
A fellow is placed with a Representative on the House Ways and Means Committee with a particular focus on nursing home quality and addressing incentives around nursing home care (as well as other areas on the legislative agenda).
Examples of non-residential projects for potential fellows include:
A fellow examines policies affecting older adults with multiple, serious chronic conditions - costs of care; differential impact of health care costs and access by race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status; improvements in the health care system including models of care coordination.
A fellow examines policies affecting the economic security of vulnerable and disadvantaged older adults - access to low income benefits (Medicare, Medicaid, LIHEAP, food stamps, etc.), pensions and retirement income; employment and transitions to work; consumer protections (predatory lending, telemarketing fraud); financial literacy.
A fellow examines policies that promote civic engagement (volunteerism and community engagement) by older adults and caregivers to improve the healthcare system and the well being of older Americans (especially individuals with low incomes and people of color).
A fellow examines issues and challenges, and policies affecting Medicare beneficiaries, with an emphasis on those who are low-income, dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, racial/ethnic minorities, high cost, with long-term care needs, or enrolled in Medicare Advantage or Part D plans.
Harold Alan Pincus M.D.
Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University
Director of Quality and Outcomes Research, New York-Presbyterian Hospital
Senior Scientist, RAND Corporation
1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 9
New York, NY 10032
Phuong Trang Huynh, PhD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor of Health Policy & Management (in Psychiatry)
Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons
1051 Riverside Drive, Unit 9
New York, NY 10032