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Fellowships at the Instittute of Medicine: Tomorrowâs Health Leaders Fellowships at the Institute of Medicine: Tomorrowâs Health Leaders In addition to providing guidance on a range of health and policy issues, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) offers a number of fellowship opportunities for health professionals. The fellowships provide exposure to the health policy processes of Congress and the executive branch, and some fellows are able to work with the IOMâs committees and other activities as well. Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowships For more than three decades, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellowships program has enhanced the careers of outstanding mid-career academic health professionals, community health leaders, and behavioral scien- tists. Through a unique and comprehensive orientation program designed and administered by the IOM, followed by high-level work assignments in Congress or the administration, more than 200 fellows have participated in shaping fed- eral health policy. Strategically positioned at the nexus of health care, policy, and politics, fellows have frontline responsibilities in shaping the nationâs legislation and regulations governing health and health care. Fellows have been frequently cited by members of Congress, the administra- tion, and the health policy community as significantly improving the outcomes of the health policy-making process. For example, Mario Pacheco (2000â2001) came to his congressional assignment with a concern about obesity in the Hispanic population and energetically supported the successful passage of legislation that created a study of school-based vending machines and their effect on childhood nutrition. The scientific and clinical expertise that each fellow possesses makes valu- able contributions to the deliberations of federal policy makers. Consequently, fellows are in great demand during their year in Washington, D.C., and beyond. They are recruited for congressional staff positions, and they are sought for as- signments in the administration, including in the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Department of Defense, and the White House Office of Domestic Policy. Federal and state agencies, along with professional organiza- 81
Informing the Future: Critical Issues in Health tions and associations, also enlist alumni for their insight and experience to serve in leadership roles. Outside of government, alumni serve as university presidents, vice chancel- lors, and department chairs, and as deans of schools of medicine, nursing, and public health. Many of them continue to maintain their connections to the work- ings of government, and some alumni have become official liaisons in government relations for their universities and professional societies. For example, Kristofer Hagglund (2000-2001) and Karen Edison (1999-2000) are the co-directors and co- founders of the Center for Health Policy at the University of Missouri, Columbia. IOM Anniversary Fellows Program To celebrate its thirty-fifth anniversary in 2005, the IOM created a new fel- lowship program to enable talented health science scholars who are early in their careers to participate in the work of the IOM and to further their careers as future leaders in the health field. IOM boards, committees, and roundtables provide exceptionalâand in many ways uniqueâlearning environments that can offer early-career scholars extensive opportunities to interact with eminent research- ers, policy experts, and clinicians from across the country on a range of impor- tant health issues. The two-year program is open to individuals who hold nontenured faculty positions in any university. It welcomes applications from underrepresented mi- nority candidates. Fellows continue with their main academic responsibilities while engaging part-time in various IOM activities. A one-week immersion in the health policy arena in Washington, D.C., a mentoring relationship with a senior IOM member, and a flexible research stipend enhance the value of the program. The benefits of gaining new knowledge, professional connections, and broad ex- posure to policy leaders attracts an outstanding pool of applicants from a range of health-related disciplines. Distinguished Nurse Scholar Program The Distinguished Nurse Scholar Program is designed to assist outstanding nurse leaders in playing a more prominent role in health policy development at the national level. The program seeks individuals who have the capacity and skills to help increase policy makersâ awareness and understanding of critical is- sues related to nursing. As part of the program, the scholar is asked to produce a policy-oriented paper based on her or his area of special interest or to become actively involved in an IOM study related to his or her area of expertise. 82
Fellowships at the Institute of Medicine: Tomorrowâs Health Leaders The program, initiated in 1992, is supported by the American Academy of Nursing and the American Nurses Foundation and conducted by the IOM. Each year, one senior nurse scholar is selected from an eligible institution or organiza- tion to come to Washington, D.C., to participate in a one-year program of orien- tation and work at the IOM. 83