2019 HPF class-cropped

About The Health Policy Fellowship

The Health Policy Fellowship (HPF) is a year-long leadership training program designed to give osteopathic physicians the skills they need to analyze, formulate, and implement health policy on the local, state, and national levels with the purpose of increasing access to affordable, quality health care. The HPF is sponsored by AACOM and coordinated by the HPF office at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM).

The program is designed for practicing or teaching osteopathic physicians who are preparing for leadership roles in the profession and positions of influence in health policy. Applications will also be considered from individuals with an established connection to the osteopathic profession (e.g., directors of medical education, hospital administrators, and executive directors of state osteopathic associations).

Fellows will attend an intensive five-day academic orientation in Washington, DC before entering a regimen of eight three-day weekend seminars, usually beginning Friday at 8:00 AM. and finishing Sunday at noon. Seminars rotate among osteopathic colleges and the offices of the AOA and AACOM. Between monthly seminars, fellows are expected to devote a minimum of 20 hours to reading, research, and completing written assignments.

To enhance their ability to evaluate, articulate, and formulate concise and objective assessments of health policy issues, fellows will complete two health policy issue analysis briefs. Program faculty and staff provide research, writing, and editorial support. 

Graduates of the program join a cadre of health policy experts from which the profession can draw to staff committees and task forces at the federal and state levels, testify on issues relevant to osteopathic medicine and education, and develop policy positions. 


The curriculum offers a broad range of analytic and communication tools applicable to health policy, including:

  • Foundations of health policy
  • Information systems for research and communication
  • Policy analysis and formulation
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Interpretation of statistical reporting
  • Writing skills for presentation and publication

In addition, guest seminar leaders from policy-making agencies present an overview and history of policy issues in their fields and serve as resources for group assignments that form the basis of the interactive weekend seminars throughout the year. Policy areas for the study of issues have included:

  • Federal and state health policy
  • Uninsured populations
  • Health care workforce
  • Vulnerable populations
  • Quality of care and patient safety
  • Economics of health policy
  • Rural health
  • Multicultural medicine
  • Medical education
  • Health care reform

Fellows will participate in policy meetings in Washington, DC, including workshops to develop strategies to influence policy. Fellows will also participate in leadership training workshops focusing on public speaking, communicating with the media, and effective negotiation strategies.


To remain in good standing and earn an AOA certificate as a Health Policy Fellow, participants must attend and participate in all scheduled seminars and complete all assignments. The health policy issue analysis briefs developed in the program must be submitted by December 30, 2018, and July 1, 2019, for evaluation.


Application for one of 12 fellowship positions is competitive—applicants are expected to demonstrate five or more years of experience in professional settings in addition to their practice, and have a career-long interest in health policy. Individuals who have an established connection with the osteopathic profession may be selected to fill fellowship positions (not to exceed two). The minimum requirements for these applicants are a graduate degree and a demonstrated history of interest and involvement in health policy.

A complete application, with a personal statement and three recommendations are required. Recommendations from sponsoring organizations and institutions is preferred and should also be included, if applicable. Reviewers will seek evidence that the applicant can successfully combine a rigorous course of study with practice or teaching commitments.


Extensive in-kind contributions from the participating universities and osteopathic associations' offices are committed to the program each year. The offices of AACOM and the AOA are available for the Washington, DC sessions, and staff from the offices will participate in the seminars.


Program staff select all hotel accommodations for all participants at each seminar location. However, transportation and the cost of lodging for weekend seminars are the responsibility of the fellow or sponsoring agency (average $1,000 per seminar). The program provides continental breakfasts and lunches during the seminars.

Applications Due: May 1, 2018

For additional information, please contact:

Nancy Cooper, Fellowship Coordinator
Health Policy Fellowship
Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
307 Grosvenor Hall
Athens Ohio  45701
740.593.2017 (office)
740.707.8425 (cell)
740.593.1730 (fax)