AAFP Looking for 2018-19 Health Equity Fellows

September 12, 2018 09:58 am Chris Crawford

The AAFP, in conjunction with Family Medicine for America's Health,(fmahealth.org) is seeking two Academy members interested in participating in a 12-month health equity fellowship. Applications are due Sept. 28.

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Ideal candidates will have some foundational knowledge of how social determinants impact health, with specific examples of issues facing the communities in which they work, said Danielle Jones, M.P.H., manager of the AAFP's Center for Diversity and Health Equity.

"More importantly, they should have the desire and will to take what they've learned and engage the leadership of their organizations/institutions in developing strategic actions that strive for health equity in the communities they serve," she told AAFP News.

"Our goal is to develop family physician leaders as subject matter experts who can translate the concepts of diversity and inclusion, social determinants of health, and health equity into actions that transform primary care, medical education, community health and public policy at the local, state and national level."

Story Highlights
  • The AAFP, along with Family Medicine for America's Health, is seeking two Academy members interested in participating in a 12-month health equity fellowship, with applications due Sept. 28.
  • Fellows must commit to participate from Nov. 1, 2018, through Oct. 31, 2019.
  • Fellows will be required to complete a capstone project that identifies a specific health equity issue facing the fellow's community and offers a measurable strategy for how it will be addressed upon completion of the program.

Fellowship Commitment and Activities

Fellows must commit to participate from Nov. 1, 2018, through Oct. 31, 2019.

With approval from their institution, practice or department chair, fellows are expected to dedicate about 10 percent of their time (about 15-20 hours a month) to the fellowship. A nominal stipend will be provided.

Fellows will participate in quarterly learning modules and meet periodically with each other, their assigned mentors and AAFP staff via conference calls/webinars and in-person meetings.

Fellows must agree to commit travel time to attend all four of the fellowship program's in-person meetings:

  • Nov. 2-3, 2018: Fellowship orientation, AAFP headquarters, Leawood, Kan.
  • April 25-27, 2019: National Conference of Constituency Leaders (NCCL), Kansas City, Mo.
  • May 20-21, 2019: Family Medicine Advocacy Summit, Washington, D.C. (or your AAFP chapter's Advocacy Day, if available)
  • Oct. 11-15, 2019: Health Equity Summit, Albuquerque, N.M.

It should be noted that the AAFP will reimburse travel and lodging expenses up to $1,500 for each meeting, per Academy policy. No per diem or family travel expenses are allowed.

Additionally, fellows are encouraged to participate as active members in the AAFP and their chapters by attending the following meetings:

  • Oct. 8-10, 2018: Congress of Delegates, New Orleans
  • Oct. 9-13, 2018: AAFP Family Medicine Experience (FMX), New Orleans

Gaining an understanding of the AAFP's governance structure and processes at the state and national levels will strengthen the fellows' ability to serve in future leadership roles.

Eligibility Requirements

To apply for this fellowship, interested applicants must be

  • AAFP active members,
  • in practice or on teaching faculty, and
  • out of residency and fellowship.

Applicants need to submit a curriculum vitae and letter of interest. The letter of interest should be fewer than 500 words in length and include

  • reasons the applicant wants to be a fellow, including a discussion of major strengths and qualifications for the program;
  • experience and/or contributions in the health equity field, either through professional work or through community or volunteer service;
  • a discussion of how this experience and/or contributions in the health equity field will contribute to the fellowship experience;
  • plans for continued development of health equity leadership skills after completion of the fellowship;
  • information on how the applicant will contribute to the achievement of health equity at the national, regional or local level, in conjunction with his/her institution, practice or department; and
  • a discussion of how the fellowship experience will affect the applicant's overall career goals and direction.

In addition, applicants must complete the AAFP's conflict of interest form (select Option 2), agreeing to commit 10 percent of full-time equivalent protected time to participate in the fellowship.

A letter of recommendation must also be submitted by someone familiar with the applicant's knowledge, skills and ability to contribute to the health equity field.

Capstone Project

Applicants will be required to submit a one- to two-page proposal that briefly describes one health equity project they would like to complete during the fellowship term. This capstone project is a key part of the overall leadership development experience.

"The capstone project should aim to identify a specific health equity issue facing the fellow's community, with a measurable strategy for how it will be addressed upon the completion of the program," Jones said. "The fellow will have the full support of and complete access to AAFP resources to complete the capstone project."

Fellows will be coached by assigned mentors and AAFP staff on a regular basis.

The proposed project should focus on a health equity topic that is relevant to the applicant's work and/or the work of his or her institution, practice or department.

The capstone project proposal must include the following:

  • Introduction, goal and vision: Applicants should provide an overview of their chosen health equity topic, an explanation of why it is important and details about the project location (e.g., their work site). What is the applicant's goal for this project? What is the applicant's vision of the future and how will this project move him or her closer to that vision?
  • Timeline: What clearly defined, measurable tasks do applicants plan to accomplish during the 12-month fellowship?
  • Institutional support: What financial or in‐kind resources will the applicants' institution, practice or department make available to help them implement the proposed project during the fellowship?

Fellows will also be expected to contribute to the development of content and products that the AAFP creates to support the ongoing education, skills-building and awareness of AAFP members, Jones said. These include but are not limited to toolkits, issue briefs, trainings and presentations.

Application Details

As stated above, all application materials must be submitted by Sept. 28 to Jones via email.  

Applications will be acknowledged via email on receipt. A committee will then review the applications and select two fellows. These fellows will be notified via email by Oct. 5, as will all unsuccessful applicants.

The 2018-19 AAFP Health Equity Fellows will be announced during the opening session of FMX on Oct. 10 in New Orleans.

Once selected, Jones encourages AAFP members to follow the inaugural health equity fellows and their progress on social media and in AAFP News.

"Members can also engage with the fellows in person at NCCL in 2019, the Family Medicine Advocacy Summit and the inaugural Health Equity Summit in New Mexico in October 2019," she noted.

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