The Class of 2008 fellows recently visited South Dakota to examine the intersection of state and federal health policy legislation and to gain an understanding of the current political and health policy climate, especially that of the American Indian and rural health care. The visit included meetings with Oglala Sioux Tribe Offices and Red Cloud Indian School on the Pine Ridge Reservation; key leaders of numerous health and health care organizations; secretaries of three of the South Dakota offices; and Governor Mike Rounds. The three-day trip was extraordinarily enlightening and underscored the complexity of the interface between all parties. You can read an article in the Capitol Journey about the fellows’ meeting with Governor Rounds.
The travel to Massachusetts in the spring provided the fellows with a very different look at the state’s health care and health policy systems. Health Reform was still the topic of discussion as they met with Senator Richard Moore, Commissioner Sarah Iselin of the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and many advocates and key players involved in the state’s health reform process-- including the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Health Care for All, and the Geiger-Gibson Community Health Center, among others. Once again, a special thanks to alumnus Jay Himmelstein ('91-'92) and his staff for making this visit possible. This was the third trip in as many years that Jay put together for the fellows, and his effort is much appreciated by the fellows and staff.
While the Class of 2008 wraps up their fellowship year, we also are preparing to welcome ten outstanding new fellows who are eagerly awaited. They were selected from a record number of over 70 applications, and it promises to be a very exciting year in the midst of the ongoing health care reform debate. Please remember that those of you who recommended successful applicants are eligible to have your expenses paid to this year’s Alumni Gathering on Tuesday, October 13th! If you were not successful last year, it is now time to encourage those fantastic colleagues of yours to apply for the 2010-2011 Class! The call for applications will go live in mid-September.
It is my pleasure to welcome a new Advisory Board member, Dr. James R. Gavin III. Dr. Gavin is the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Healing Our Village, Inc. and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University and Indiana University.
This year, we will launch a new online application process and will make some changes to make our website even better! Lastly, remember to keep sending us your updates! It is always wonderful to hear from you and to learn about all you do to make a difference. And don’t forget to update your profile by logging in at http://healthpolicyfellows.org/secure/account-login.php.