The George Washington University Health Workforce Institute, based at the Milken Institute School of Public Health, recently announced that its Leaders for Health Equity Fellowship program has joined the global community of Atlantic Fellows. The program will now be known as the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity.
The Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity was established in 2016 through an initial $6 million award from the Atlantic Philanthropies. The program trains early-mid career health sector professionals in areas such as the social determinants of health, health disparities and community organizing with the goal of making them more effective leaders in constructing fairer and healthier communities. The program focuses on the fundamentals of health equity and proven strategies to reduce health disparities.
The GW Health Workforce Institute has received an additional $18 million from the Atlantic Philanthropies to expand its fellowship program and operate it through 2026. The Atlantic Philanthropies earmarked this grant in 2016 as one of its final commitments to support the Atlantic Fellows programs.
“We are thrilled to have this level of support to build healthier, more equitable communities,” said Lynn R. Goldman, the Michael and Lori Milken Dean at Milken Institute SPH. “Through the Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program, we are training the next generation of global health leaders dedicated to health equity.”
The yearlong Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program based at the GW Health Workforce Institute has recruited two cohorts of fellows. Each class of fellows is composed of 15 early-mid career health sector workers. Fellows have come from the United States, Uganda, the Philippines, Brazil, India, Argentina and Sierra Leone. The first two classes include health activists with expertise in law, economics, medicine, dentistry and nursing as well as community organizing, data science and public health management. The cohort’s size will expand to 20 fellows per year in 2019.
“We are excited by the connections and experiences that fellows have already had as a result of this program,” said Fitzhugh Mullan, co-director of the GW Health Workforce Institute and professor of health policy and pediatrics at the Milken Institute SPH and GW’s School of Medicine and Health Sciences. “With this support we anticipate training more leaders who will have the knowledge, skills and courage to tackle health disparities throughout the world.”
The Atlantic Philanthropies’ support also enables the GW Health Workforce Institute to expand the work of the Beyond Flexner Alliance, an organization dedicated to advancing social mission in teaching, research and service activities of health professions education institutions.
“The Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity program brings huge benefits for the GW community as well as the fellows,” said Guenevere Burke, an assistant professor of emergency medicine in SMHS and co-director of the program. “The fellowship links our schools and faculty to an important, long-term global movement for health equity with significant teaching, learning and networking opportunities.”
The Atlantic Philanthropies formally welcomed the newly-named Atlantic Fellows for Health Equity into the global Atlantic Fellows Program in July. It now has 267 fellows in seven programs operating across five continents working to advance fairer, healthier and more inclusive societies.
Each of the seven Atlantic Fellows programs is focused on solving a distinct 21st-century problem. They include reducing the impact of dementia worldwide; achieving health equity in South Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States; advancing racial equity in the United States and South Africa; improving the well-being of communities in Australia and the Pacific by drawing on the knowledge and expertise of Indigenous people; and addressing global inequalities. The Atlantic Philanthropies has committed more than $660 million to support the work of the global network of Atlantic Fellows over the next 20 years.
“The Atlantic Fellows are energetic, diverse, international leaders who are acting on the world’s urgent needs and collaborating to build healthy and equitable societies. The fellows’ work, individually and as a community, represents our highest aspirations for what our founder Chuck Feeney and the Atlantic Philanthropies set out to achieve over 35 years ago,” said Christopher G. Oechsli, president and CEO of the Atlantic Philanthropies. “The Atlantic Fellows programs, with support from the Atlantic Institute based at Rhodes Trust at Oxford University, give these leaders the experience, resources and networks to accelerate their work.”