Iowa City’s VA Healthcare System has been accepted as a site to host one of the VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) Advanced Fellowships in Health Services Research and Development (HSR&D). Michelle Mengeling, PhD, assistant professor in General Internal Medicine, and Michael Ohl, MD, MSPH, associate professor in Infectious Diseases, submitted the successful application and will lead the program here. The OAA’s Advanced Fellowship provides a two-year salary to two post-doctoral fellows each year. Fellows complete training and conduct mentored research in preparation for careers in health services research.
“The purpose is to develop fellows’ skills in the application of rigorous health services research and implementation science to improve healthcare systems – and thereby the health and wellbeing of veterans and the nation,” Mengeling said.
The fellowship is open to physicians, nurses, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, or PhD scientists in fields relevant to healthcare research. The program has a focus in rural healthcare delivery systems and policy, but individuals with other interests may also apply. Recruitment of post-doctoral fellows for this inaugural class will occur in summer of 2022. Fellows will contribute to existing research projects with potential to develop their own project within larger research studies. Fellows also have the opportunity to receive tuition support to pursue a master’s degree from the UI College of Public Health or the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS).
In addition to the strong informal mentoring relationships, fellows will also have primary faculty mentors, a Career Guidance Committee, and support to build a network of mentors and colleagues throughout the VA, UI Health Care, and professional organizations.
“A component for current and future success is learning how to develop relationships with multiple mentors, professional colleagues, and future collaborators, as each will have different perspectives and expertise,” Mengeling said. “Fellows will be matched to a primary mentor whose ongoing research dovetails with the fellows’ interests. Given the depth and breadth of CADRE’s faculty, it is likely that fellows will have multiple options for their primary mentor.” [Read past stories about CADRE’s scope.]
As the fellowship concludes, fellows can apply to either of the two CADRE career development programs, the Rural Career Development Award (CDA) and the Rural Scholars Fellowship Program, funded by the VA Office of Rural Health. Another post-fellowship opportunity is offered within the Department of Internal Medicine, administered by the Associate Chair for Clinical Health Services Research, Eli Perencevich, MD, MS, who is also the director of CADRE.
“The application process [for the OAA Advanced Fellowship] was incredibly competitive with only 14 funded nationally,” Perencevich said. “This speaks to the quality of the application that Michelle and Mike submitted along with our track record of successful mentorship in the VA Quality Scholars, Rural CDA and HSR&D CDA programs.”
About Advanced Fellowships in Health Services Research and Development
Founded in 1991, the Advanced Fellowships in Health Services Research and Development program aims to incorporate patient perspectives in quality, cost, and measurement issues in health care delivery. Centers of Innovations are located across the nation in Bedford and Boston, Charleston, Denver, Durham, Houston, Indianapolis, Iowa City, Greater Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland, Providence, Salt Lake City, Seattle, and West Haven.