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Leadership Institute

OHPF 2019 2020 @ aacom
Class of 2019-2020

About The Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship

The Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF) is a year-long leadership training program designed to help osteopathic physicians and other associated health professionals 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.

The program is designed for practicing or teaching osteopathic physicians and other individuals with an established connection to the osteopathic profession. OHPF Alumni include non-physician COM 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 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.

We are working with campuses and other institutions that are excited about hosting the Fellowship for the 2021-2022 year. However, given the uncertain course of the pandemic, early sessions in the program may be conducted virtually. Campus sites will be announced once their policies allow outside groups to use their facilities and the Co-Directors deem it is safe to travel. Applicants will be apprised of all updates as they are made.

To enhance their ability to evaluate, articulate, and formulate concise and objective assessments of health policy issues, fellows will complete two health policy issue 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 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.


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, 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.

Certificate Requirements

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, 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 should include an immediate supervisor and the Dean (if applying from a COM). 

Accommodations and Financial Arrangements

The cost of the sessions, including most meals during the meetings, are included in the program. Fellows and/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