The Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF) is a year-long training program designed for osteopathic physicians and other individuals with an established connection to the profession to develop the skills they need to analyze, formulate, and implement health policy on the local, state, and national levels. The OHPF is primarily sponsored by AACOM.
Alumni of the program join a cadre of health policy experts from which the profession can draw on 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. OHPF Alumni include non-physician faculty and administrators, physician assistants, state osteopathic association and foundation directors, and hospital administrators.
Fellows attend an intensive five-day academic orientation before entering a regimen of nine three-day weekend seminars, usually beginning Friday at 8:00 am and finishing Sunday at noon. Seminars are in-person and rotate among osteopathic colleges, the AACOM offices, and other relevant sites. Between monthly seminars, fellows are expected to devote a minimum of 20 hours to reading, research, and completing written assignments.
The OHPF 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
- Media training
In addition, guest facilitators who are experts on issues or representatives from policy-relevant institutions and agencies present overviews of policy issues in their fields that form the basis of the interactive weekend seminars throughout the year. Many of these facilitators go on to serve as resources for group and individual assignments. Policy areas for the study of issues have included:
- Local, state, and Federal health policy
- Health inequities and disparities
- Uninsured and vulnerable populations
- Health care workforce
- Quality of care and patient safety
- Economics of health policy
- Rural, urban, and other health disparate populations
- Multicultural medicine
- Medical education
- Health care reform
Fellows participate in policy meetings, 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 a certificate as a Health Policy Fellow, participants must attend and participate in all scheduled seminars and complete all assignments. The two health policy issue analysis briefs developed during the program must be submitted by the due dates identified in the syllabus.
The Selection Process
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 (i.e., a minimum of 5 years post-Residency), and provide a demonstrable interest in policy issues. The minimum requirements for non-physician applicants are a graduate degree and a demonstrated history of interest and involvement in health policy. Most successful non-physician applicants will have an appointment at an osteopathic institution, such as a college, health care setting, foundation, or state or regional association.
A complete application, with a personal statement and two letters of support are required. Letter writers should include an immediate supervisor and Dean (if applying from a COM). The immediate supervisor and/or Dean must acknowledge the time and release commitment of the applicant’s participation. If the applicant is not self-funding her or his participation, the Dean, or head of the institution from which the applicant will receive support must also provide an acknowledgement of the commitment (see below).
Accommodations and Financial Arrangements
The cost of the sessions, including most meals during the meetings, are included in the program. Fellows or their sponsoring institutions are responsible for travel, accommodations, non-program meals, and other incidental costs. To promote the objectives of the Fellowship, participants are required to stay at the conference hotels during the sessions. In a typical year, these costs average approximately $1,250 per session, for a total commitment estimated at $12,500. The Fellowship Directors are committed to making the program costs as reasonable as possible.
For additional information, please contact: OHPPrograms@gmail.com