How are fellows selected?

Fellows are selected from a competitive pool of applicants with a wide variety of backgrounds, including computer science, technology, art, design, and health. Using essays, letters of recommendation, and interviews, fellows are chosen based on their aptitude, creativity, passion, teamwork, leadership, interpersonal skills, and integrity.

Can undergraduate students apply?

Yes. Applications from current seniors are welcome, but all fellows are required to have graduated by July 1, 2014.

I graduated college two years ago – can I still apply?

Yes. You are eligible provided you completed your degree after January 2011.

I have finished my undergraduate degree and am in medical school/engineering school/design school/public health school, can I still apply?

Yes. We welcome applications from a wide variety of fellows and you are welcome to apply provided you completed your undergraduate degree after January 2011.

Why do you require an undergraduate degree?

Since the fellowship focuses on creating innovative health solutions, it is important that fellows have a certain level of maturity and depth. An undergraduate degree helps ensure fellows meet the criteria for aptitude and integrity.

I am a permanent resident, but not a citizen, can I apply?

No. The fellowship is restricted to United States citizens.

If not accepted, can fellows apply again?

You may apply one time per application round. If you are not selected for a particular program, you are welcome to apply for other programs, provided you meet the requirements. 

Can fellows work other jobs? 

All Health for America programs are a full-time commitment. All fellows must forgo all other employment during this time.

How is Health for America different from other programs?

A systematic review conducted by George Washington University for Health for America found that our approach is unique and innovative. By integrating entrepreneurial principles and design thinking with public health concepts using youth as change agents, this novel framework incorporates lessons from successful programs but avoids duplication.

What is the state of America’s health? 

The United States leads the world in fields like technology and business but consistently ranks behind other countries in health outcomes, despite having the highest per capita expenditure on health in the world. To make matters more complicated, there are huge health disparities within the country by race, income-level and state. As a result, there are vulnerable populations that have even worse outcomes than national statistics would suggest. Health for America will bring much-needed resources to these communities. 

Isn’t America a leader in health innovation? 

While American innovation has created remarkable health therapies, this has not always resulted in better outcomes. In our current hospital-based, fee-for service health system, the incentives are misaligned, resulting in technologies with higher costs and an uncertain impact on outcomes. Using metrics that are based on meaningful health outcomes, Health for America will channel America’s tremendous capacity for innovation to create impactful solutions. 

Why focus on community health? 

A review of 84 evidence-based studies by The Trust for America’s Health found that community-based programs improve health in a cost effective manner.  Using this approach to target chronic disease could result in $306 billion in health care savings over 10 years in the United States, based on a report by the Commonwealth Commission.  Advances in information technology provide a unique opportunity to accelerate the development of high-impact, community-based solutions.

How is health for America affected by health reform? 

Health for America is a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization without political affiliation. While the organization is not directly affected by the Affordable Care Act, health reforms highlight the increasing recognition that patient-centered, community-based models are needed to provide effective health care solutions. Health for America will lead the way in bringing innovation into this space.