Lois K. Lee, MD, MPH, Director
Lenore Jarvis MD, MEd
Lauren Gambill MD, MPA
The Health Policy Scholars Program (HPSP) is a NEW 3-year faculty development program designed to educate APA members on the development of a systematic and scholarly approach to health policy and advocacy. The primary goal of the APA HPSP is to prepare scholars for a successful academic career in public policy and advocacy through mentorship, networking, and designing projects that meet the standards for professional review.
One cohort of HPSP scholars will matriculate every three years.
Over the three-year program, scholars will:
- Design and execute a scholarly project focused on child health and well-being within the current policy landscape.
- Collaborate with, receive project-related feedback, and career mentorship from well-known national and local leaders in public policy and advocacy.
- Develop a structured advocacy portfolio to outline a scholarly approach to advocacy activities, guide career planning, and support academic promotion.
- Interact with faculty during yearly full-day PAS sessions that will focus on health policy, communication, messaging, influencing policy, dissemination of scholarly work, leadership, and networking.
- Learn about epidemiology, population health, Medicaid, and private insurance applicable to public policy and advocacy.
- Participate in faculty-facilitated and peer-mentored project-in-progress sessions.
- Experience local, state, and national role of public policy and advocacy.
- Disseminate findings by national presentation, white paper, manuscript, or other non-traditional academic work products (e.g., legislative testimony, bill).
- Scholars are expected to complete the full curriculum, including a scholarly project, advocacy portfolio, and a longitudinal legislative experience over 3-4 years.
- Graduating scholars will receive a Certificate of Excellence in Health Policy and Advocacy.
The call for scholar applications will open July 1, 2020.
In addition to being a current member of the APA, the following will be required at the time of application:
- Personal statement (250 words) and CV
- Proposed project description with clear project objectives (350 words)
- A letter of support from the Division Director and Chair with support for the following: 10% FTE dedicated to participation in the program and a one-time tuition fee of $5,600, due at the time of enrollment.
- A letter of support from a local mentor. Local mentors should have experience in public policy and advocacy and/or research experience and be willing to act in a mentorship role both to refine the project and engage in career planning. APA can help applicants identify local mentors if required prior to submitting the application.
- An application fee of $125, charged at the time of submission of the application.
APA members (e.g., pediatric advocates, clinicians, educators, or researchers) in early or mid-career interested in a scholarly approach to public policy and advocacy are encouraged to apply.
Application to the Health Policy Scholars Program
What are the criteria for acceptance? We are looking for Scholars with a sound and innovative project proposal positioned to have a positive impact on health policy.
The ideal Scholar will have the following attributes:
- Outstanding credentials and recommendations
- A dedicated mentor
- Documentation of institutional support
Project proposals are evaluated on the following criteria:
- Relevance to current policy or advocacy efforts affecting the health of children
- Feasibility of project aims (e.g., time, resources, technical capability)
- Presentation of a sound methodological design
- Plan for dissemination (manuscript or other scholarly work product, e.g. white paper)
Who selects the Scholars and how many will be selected? The Academic Pediatric Association's Health Policy Scholars Program leadership directs selection of Scholars. A cohort of approximately 25-30 Scholars is chosen every 3 years. The next application cycle will open in July 2020 with Scholars starting the program at PAS in May of 2021.
Is this program designed only for new faculty members, or can mid-career faculty also apply? We welcome a mix of new faculty and those with more experience who want to develop new skills to enhance their health policy repertoire.
Will the program accept fellows? No, the Health Policy Scholars Program is designed for junior- or mid-career professionals.
Can pediatric subspecialists apply? Yes, sub-specialists are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Who is eligible to apply? Applicants must be APA members. All types of professional degrees will be considered. Program applicants must demonstrate a commitment to health policy and advocacy within an academic or community environment.
What is the application timeline? Application opens July 1, 2020 and closes October 1, 2020. Scholars will be notified of application status in early December 2020.
Costs Associated with the Health Policy Scholars Program
What does the Health Policy Scholars Program cost?
Program costs will include:
- $125 application fee
- $5600 tuition for selected Scholar.
- 10% professional time for 3 years
- Travel costs and registration to the Pediatric Academic Societies Conference for three years.
- Travel costs and registration to the AAP Legislative Conference for one year.
Why is there an enrollment fee? The Health Policy Scholars Program is expensive to operate, with approximately 50 faculty engaged in managing and evaluating the program, planning the curriculum, teaching at PAS, directing intersession activities, and mentoring individual Scholars. Operating costs are also partially subsidized by the Academic Pediatric Association. The tuition will cover all three years of the program. The fee makes it possible to ensure proper evaluation of applicants in order to sustain a high-quality program.
Does the Health Policy Scholars Program provide financial or travel support to Scholars? No, we have no funds for this purpose. Your supervisor's support for the tuition fee, time protection, project costs, and travel to the Pediatric Academic Societies meeting will be required for you to participate
What exactly does the 10% time commitment mean? Does it mean a salary commitment? The Health Policy Scholars Program is unable to subsidize the Scholar's 10% time commitment. Negotiation of the supervisor's agreement to protect 10% of the Scholar's time is the responsibility of the Scholar. Our expectation is that Scholars will be doing projects that are a direct and valuable contribution to their department or institution and that fit into their current job commitments or can be negotiated to become a part of the Scholar's job commitments. Program participation should also benefit the department by making the Scholar more effective as an educator, mentor, and leader in health policy and advocacy.
Project Proposals for the Health Policy Scholars Program:
What is meant by a project in health policy scholarship? Scholars will design and execute a scholarly project focused on child health and well-being within the current policy landscape. Projects can be focused on the development, implementation, evaluation and/or dissemination of health policy interventions or evaluation methods by a creative, planned and rigorous process that is consistent with best practices in the field and reviewed by peers for excellence.
How developed must the proposed initial project in health policy be? Draft project proposals must include an overall project aim and potential measures that can be used to track and progress and guide project development over time. Ideal projects are feasible impactful ones which include systematic evaluation and are likely to lead to scholarly output.
How should I choose a local mentor? A local mentor should be defined in your application. Your mentor does not need to be a pediatrician or a member of your department but should have expertise in a key area related to your project (research and/or health policy). A good mentor is approachable and available, personally committed to the mentee's success, and has a track record in research or child advocacy. The mentor's letter and qualifications will be reviewed critically as part of the application.
Will the program provide me with a national mentor? Yes, a national mentor will be assigned to each Scholar based upon the Scholar’s area of focus and the proposed project.
Completion of the Health Policy Scholars Program:
What are the requirements for successful completion of the program?
- Attend PAS teaching sessions over 3 years: The didactic component of the program will include a core curriculum taught in one full-day session, offered each year at PAS for three consecutive years (for a total of three sessions). These sessions will focus on health policy, advocacy, communication, messaging, influencing policy, dissemination of scholarly work, leadership, and networking.
- Join intersession educational webinars: Intersession topics will focus on epidemiology, population health, Medicaid, and private insurance applicable to public policy and advocacy.
- Engage with peer, local, and national mentorship: Scholars will establish lasting relationships with their local and national mentors while conducting their own project and will network with other national faculty and peers during project-in-progress sessions.
- Develop a structured advocacy portfolio: A structured advocacy portfolio provides a scholarly approach to advocacy activities, guides career planning, and supports academic promotion.
- Disseminate findings of completed work: Potential sources of dissemination include national presentation, white paper, manuscript, or other non-traditional academic work products (e.g., legislative testimony, bill).
- Successful completion of the program will include a Certificate of Excellence in Health Policy Scholarship
What will I get out of the program? The Health Policy Scholars Program will provide a systematic learning experience to enhance your skills as a Scholar in policy and child advocacy, a carefully crafted advocacy portfolio, completion and dissemination of a relevant health policy project, expert mentorship, valuable networking, career guidance, and longstanding relationships with a national group of like-minded academic peers.
Can you have a local mentor with different expertise? Yes, although you want to ensure this mentor can help you successfully complete your scholarly project
Does the local mentor need to be an APA member? No. The local mentor does not need to be an APA member.
Can you change projects over 3 years? Although this would not be ideal, we understand that projects can change over time. The most important aspect of the scholarly project is that the Scholar can complete the project while learning the skills needed to complete such an endeavor.
Can you have co- mentors? Yes, although we request there is one primary mentor who submits the letter of recommendation for the application
Could this program be useful for pediatricians working in the community who may not be based at an academic medical center? Yes. We encourage pediatric clinicians with diverse experiences to apply as we think this is important for child health advocacy.