Health Policy Honors Program

In the summer of 2016, the AmeriHealth Caritas Health Policy Fellowship Program was launched at LSU Health New Orleans as a collaboration between the School of Public Health and School of Medicine. Building on student experiences over the past years, in 2019 the Fellowship was expanded to be the Health Policy Honors Program. The Health Policy Honors Program is open to LSU HSC medical students who are available immediately following completion of their first year of medical school for an eight week summer policy Fellowship in Washington D.C. Students must apply for the program and if accepted, a mandatory requirement to graduate with honors in health policy is to register for three health policy electives as a L1, L2, and L4: MCLIN – 190, MCLIN – 290, and MCLIN – 490.  Students must be in exceptional academic standing to continue in the program when registering for the elective each year.

The Health Policy Honors Program is designed to provide LSUHSC medical students with a foundation in the basics of health policy analysis and research. The program enhances the regular curriculum particularly for students who express intellectual curiosity about the role and impact of policy on individual and population health. Goals of the Health Policy Honors Program are to give students the practical and theoretical knowledge to recognize and actively participate as physicians in the role that policy plays in improving the health of populations and to understand how policy influences the context in which healthcare is practiced. Students complete the program with dynamic real-world experiences as a Policy Fellow in Washington D.C. and with precise competencies in policy research, analysis, formulation, and advocacy. These experiences better equip students for professional growth as physician leaders with skills to advance health system improvements through policy. It also enhances their academic experience through scholarly policy related activities applied to contemporary issues. Students who successfully fulfill program requirements graduate with the unique ability to articulate an authoritative perspective on solutions to a health or health related problem.

Policy Honors Overview (.pptx)
”My summer policy fellowship at the National Academy of State Health Policy
was one of the best experiences I had during medical school.”
Trevor Flynn (MD Candidate Class of 2020)

Delaney Sheehan (MD Candidate, Class of 2021)

Policy is considered one of the cornerstones of public health. It is in fact universally acknowledged as a core function and essential service of the public health system. While health spending is dominated by payments for medical treatment, many conditions that drive medical care cost are in fact preventable. Research has shown that environmental prevention initiatives (defined as policies targeting environmental changes such as laws targeting smoking, immunizations, seat belts, and menu labeling) are in fact more cost-effective when compared to person-directed prevention interventions. Given this demonstration for the value of health policy, students with advanced experiences in policy development, analysis, and implementation should be better equipped with the leadership skills needed for advancing health system change while also enhancing their academic experience.

“The AmeriHealth Caritas Fellowship exposed me to another avenue to reach better
health outcomes: health policy. Insights gained during my experience on
Capitol Hill in the policy fellowship was often a topic of discussion during
residency interviews with various faculty members at distinguished
institutions while brainstorming ways to push medicine forward.”
Sharis Steib, MD (Class of 2019)

Michael Okoronkwo, MD (Class of 2019)

Fellowship placement sites in Washington DC have included:

  • Senate and House Congressional Offices
  • Congressional Committees
  • Congressional Research Service
  • American Public Health Association
  • National Academy for State Health Policy
  • National Hispanic Medical Association

The Health Policy Honors Program is funded through the generous support from AmeriHealth Caritas Louisiana. Students receive a stipend and an allowance for Metro transportation while in DC. Housing and airfare is also covered and paid directly by LSU.

Students can apply for the program by completing the application at the link below and submitting it along with a resume to:

Dr. Peggy Honoré
Program Director
504-568-5912 (Office)
770-241-8570 (cell)

Dana Smith, MPH
Manager of Health Program Partnerships
504-568-5902 (Office)

Apply for the Policy Honors here