Seven Health Professionals Selected for Competitive Health Policy Fellowship Program

National Academy of MedicineWASHINGTON — The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have selected seven health professionals to spend a year working in the executive branch or a congressional office with key responsibilities for health legislation and programs as RWJF Health Policy Fellows for 2008-2009. The fellows represent a wide range of academic and community-based experience and were chosen from nominations submitted by academic institutions, nonprofit health care organizations, and other community-based providers.

In addition to assisting policymakers with health-related legislative and policy issues, the fellows will engage in seminars and discussions on developing health policy, and participate in leadership development programs. The experience will enrich their understanding of public policy practices and the ways government health research relates to the mission of their home institutions and local communities. After their stay in Washington, D.C., fellows may carry out additional activities with their grant funds to continue their development as health policy leaders.

“As a training ground for highly talented individuals who will transform health and health care, the fellowship provides the tools and resources they will need to develop expertise in health policy and politics,” said Marie Michnich, director of RWJF Health Policy Fellows Program at IOM. “Working hand-in-hand with the best and brightest in federal health policy, the fellows gain an insider’s perspective of the political process and develop unmatched leadership skills.”

Established in 1973 at 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.

The 2008-2009 fellows are:

  • REGINALD ALSTON, PH.D., professor and associate head, department of kinesiology and community health, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
  • MARGARET MOSS, PH.D., R.N., J.D., associate professor, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • JANET PHOENIX, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor, department of environmental and occupational health, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
  • ROBERT RATNER, M.D., vice president for scientific affairs, MedStar Research Institute, and professor of medicine, division of endocrinology, Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • JUSTINA TROTT, M.D., FACP, director, Women’s Health Services, Santa Fe, N.M.
  • THOMAS TSANG, M.D., M.P.H., chief medical officer, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, New York City
  • LEONARD ZWELLING, M.D., M.B.A., professor of medicine and pharmacology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston

Additional information about this program and the fellows 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.


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