The Stanford Health 4 America Fellows Program

We know health starts—long before illness—in our homes, communities, schools and jobs. But we devote most attention to medications and healthcare delivery. The Stanford Prevention Research Center is announcing the start of a new “Health 4 America” fellows program, whose goal is to train prevention experts to address health in  families, neighborhoods, schools, communities and the workplace…

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Many students interested in public health sign up for programs like Teach for America, or complete a public health master’s degree after college. But a persistent dilemma with these programs is that they’re either purely experiential (throwing you into the deep end without a lot of tools) or entirely classroom-based (throwing you into the slumber of statistics classes all day long, with no practicum in sight).

new program offered at Stanford (full disclosure: I’ll be one of the teachers) offers a combination of didactic and practical experiences designed for post-bacchalaureate training in public health. Twenty-five fellows will undergo 9 months of training designed to facilitate intensive work in community-based chronic disease prevention. The curriculum will combine  didactic training (e.g., learning which obesity control programs, diabetes prevention strategies, etc., have worked or failed in the real-world, and how to analyze them), with real-time, mentored, one-on-one community-based work assignments (e.g., a posting at a local public health center) for 2 days of the week over 6 of the 9 months. Think of this as an “executive MBA”  for community-based chronic disease prevention, as opposed to a standard one-year MPH crash-course that is entirely classroom-based, or an internship at a public health department that involves more file-clerking than actually learning of public health management and evaluation skills. The focus here is on implementing chronic disease prevention interventions in the community, with a heavy emphasis on the business side of things: impact assessment/evaluation, budgets, quality improvement skills, and operations research. Other coursework includes epidemiology, behavior change theory and design thinking, as well as an optional research project.

Admissions open mid-September, 2013 for the January – September 2014 Cohort. Twenty five fellows will be accepted. Stay in touch by joining the email list for details on how to apply:

And if you want to entertain yourself, here’s the animated version:

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