Around the world, populations are aging rapidly. The communities we live in, the transportation we depend on, the food we eat, and the health care we receive all need to evolve to better serve all members of society. The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program is for individuals who dare to dream of a better world and who are ready to roll up their sleeves to learn how to use the lever of policy to make a difference.
Background: Launched in 2008, the Health and Aging Policy Fellows (HAPF) Program provides HAPF Fellows with the skills, content, and hands-on experience to be able to offer policy solutions to the health challenges of an increasingly aging population and the barriers to the health care system that serves them.
The Program: The Health and Aging Policy Fellows (HAPF) Program begins with an extensive orientation session followed by ongoing mentorship, network building, professional training and policy work. The HAPF Program invites applicants from a wide range of disciplines, stages of career, and regions of the country. The common factor among all Health and Aging Policy Fellows is their shared passion and commitment to improving health policy and thereby improve the lives of older adults in the United States.
The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Video:
Please watch this 2-minute video for an insider’s view on who we are and what we do.
The Calendar: (key dates)
- April 15: Applications are due (if April 15 falls on a weekend applications are due the following Monday)
- Mid-May: Finalists Selected
- Early-June: Finalists Interviewed in Washington DC
- Early-September: Incoming Fellows are invited to Previous Year’s Leadership Retreat
- October 1: Fellowship Officially Begins
- End of October: Orientation Begins
- First Week of December: Orientation Completed
- Early March: Communications Workshop (2-days)
- June: Spring Symposium
- September: Leadership Retreat
- September 30: Fellowship Completed
Orientation: The Health and Aging Policy Orientation is divided into three segments. The first segment of orientation is delivered by Academy Health and provides an extensive introduction and overview to health policy in America. The second provide a deep dive into health policy specifically focused on aging, with presentations delivered by leaders in health and aging from the Executive Branch, Congress, Federal and State Agencies, Advocacy Groups, and non-governmental organizations. In the third segment of orientation, Fellows participate in the American Political Science Association’s (APSA’s) Congressional Fellowship Orientation Program, which provides a focus on policymaking in Congress. APSA’s Congressional Fellowship Program is the most respected and longest running policy fellowship program in Washington, DC. Orientation is held in Washington, DC and housing in provided for all fellows during the orientation if needed.
Fellowship Tracks: The Program offers both a residential and non-residential track. Core program components focused on understanding the policymaking process, career development and professional enrichment are provided for fellows in both tracks.
The residential track includes a placement of up to a year in Washington, DC or at a state agency. Fellows participate in the policymaking process as legislative assistants at the federal or state level or as professional staff members in executive branch agencies or policy organizations.
The non-residential track allows fellows to remain at their home institutions and requires that they dedicate at least 20% percent of their time to a “virtual” placement and/or project with agencies or organizations whose mission relates to health policy on aging. Non-residential fellows may focus on a health policy project that is global, federal, state or community-based.
Possible partnership organizations for global fellows could include funding agencies focused on global health and development. Possible partnership organizations for state and community fellows could include state and local agencies, Area Agencies on Aging (AAA’s), or health conversion foundations and other foundations with a state or local focus on aging.
In all cases, we strive to establish partnership placement sites that commit resources to host a fellow and will work with organizations and placement sites to develop these partnerships (see Program Tracks).
Placement Partners: We have also strong collaborations with many congressional offices, executive committees, and aging organizations, including for example: AcademyHealth, AARP, the American Society on Aging (ASA), the National Council on Aging (NCOA), the American Geriatrics Society (AGS), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and others. Fellows will establish their placements and partnerships during the orientation phase of the year (see About the Fellowship – Partnerships).
Networks Get Things Done: One of the most important aspects of the Fellowship year is the development and expansion of your professional network. During the year, Fellows identify and engage several mentors to work with them on their specific policy goals and career objectives. In addition, Drs. Pincus and Pike provide ongoing mentorship and guidance to Fellows on how to approach and engage National Advisory Board members and national experts in health and aging.
Acknowledgements: We would like to express our appreciation for our partnerships with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Gerontological Society of American (GSA), and the Veterans Health Administration. These organizations commit resources to Health and Aging Policy Fellows, and these partnerships are an essential component of support for the Health and Aging Policy Fellowship.
Program Leadership: The Health and Aging Policy Fellows program is directed by Harold Alan Pincus, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and Kathleen M. Pike, PhD, Professor of Psychology at Columbia University.
Funding Partners: The Health and Aging Policy Fellows Program was made possible by the generous support of The Atlantic Philanthropies. As Atlantic Philanthropies completed its funding activity, The John A. Hartford Foundation assumed a leadership role in funding our Program. We would like to thank The John A. Hartford Foundation for its commitment and vision, without which the Fellowship would not be possible.