Five Health Professionals Selected for Competitive Health Policy Fellowship Program

National Academy of MedicineWASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today named the 2011-2012 class of RWJF Health Policy Fellows. Beginning in September, the five fellows will spend a year in Washington, D.C., where they will work on health-related legislative and regulatory issues with members of Congress and the executive branch. They will also engage in seminars and discussions on developing health policy and participate in leadership development programs.

The fellows were chosen in a national competition among highly accomplished health professionals and behavioral and social scientists who have an interest in health and health care policy. During their fellowship assignments in a congressional office or the executive branch, they will have key involvement in health legislation and programs. The fellows’ experience will enrich their understanding of public policy formation and the ways federal and state government relate to the mission of their home institutions and local communities. After their Washington assignment, fellows will receive additional support to continue their development as health policy leaders.

“For 37 years this program has attracted extremely talented professionals who want to be part of shaping and improving the health of our nation,” said Marie Michnich, director of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows at IOM. “This group of fellows will bring their exceptional professional expertise to the national health care arena and will contribute to and shape the future. While they come to learn the dynamic of the federal role in health and health care, their talent and training will be valuable to the offices in which they are placed.”

The 2011-2012 fellows are:

  • Nancy Dunlap, M.D., Ph.D., vice chair for clinical affairs and professor, department of medicine, University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Liana Orsolini-Hain, Ph.D., R.N., nursing instructor, City College of San Francisco, San Francisco
  • Arun Patel, M.D., J.D., attorney, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP, San Francisco
  • Carole Pratt, D.D.S., general dentist, Dublin, Va.
  • David Sklar, M.D., associate dean for graduate medical education, Health Science Center; and professor of emergency medicine, School of Medicine, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

The RWJF Health Policy Fellows is a national program of the foundation with direction and technical assistance provided by IOM. Established in 1973 at the IOM with a grant from RWJF, the fellowship program develops the abilities of outstanding midcareer health professionals in academic and community-based settings by providing them with an understanding of the health policy process. More than 200 fellows from universities, colleges, and other health-related organizations across the nation have participated in this program. Additional information can be found at

Established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine provides independent, objective, evidence-based advice to policymakers, health professionals, the private sector, and the public. The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.


Christine Stencel, Media Relations Officer
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