The 2015 CHRT Policy Fellowship at the University of Michigan offers the opportunity for state policy-makers and University of Michigan health services researchers to explore and strengthen the connections between public policy and health services research.

The CHRT Policy Fellowship brings together selected health services researchers and state policy-makers over four months to learn from health care experts—and each other—about policy-making, health services research, and the intersection between the two.

The fellowship includes mid-career/senior health services researchers from the University of Michigan, and policy-makers selected from the offices of Michigan’s House and Senate majority and minority leaders, the governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Community Health. Throughout the program, fellows work collaboratively on a project designed to translate research for a policy audience.

Regular sessions in Ann Arbor consist of on-site experiences and seminar-style presentations on public health policy and current issues affecting health policy and practice in Michigan and on the national level.

Speakers include top executives and administrators in health care policy and practice, senior health services researchers, and key stakeholders within the field of health policy from within the University of Michigan community and other organizations. Past speakers have included:

  • Jack E. Billi, M.D., the Associate Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Michigan Health System
  • Darrell A. Campbell, Jr., M.D., the University of Michigan Hospital and Health Centers’ chief medical officer
  • Stephen Fitton, Michigan’s state Medicaid director
  • Robert D. Fowler, the Small Business Association of Michigan’s president and chief executive officer
  • Jim Bagian, M.D., Chief Patient Safety and Systems Innovation Officer at the University of Michigan Health System
  • Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network’s state capitol bureau chief
  • Thomas L. Simmer, M.D., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s senior vice president and chief medical officer

Fellows also travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with policy-makers and gain exposure to the national policymaking environment, and engage in hands-on state health policy experience during trips to Detroit and Lansing.


The goals of the CHRT Policy Fellowship at the University of Michigan are:

  • To build connections between Michigan policy-makers and University of Michigan health services researchers
  • To provide health services researchers with a better understanding of the policy-making process and ways to increase the impact of University of Michigan health services research on public health policy
  • To provide Michigan policy-makers with increased knowledge of the research process and access to the resources available at the University of Michigan to support health policy work

Time Commitment

  • Seven full-day, interactive sessions in Ann Arbor; these sessions include time set aside for networking opportunities with speakers and each other
  • A three day trip to Washington, D.C. and day trips to Lansing and Detroit
  • Orientation briefings on the Michigan legislative process and state government structure for researcher fellows and on the research process for the policy-maker fellows
  • A welcome and networking cocktail reception including fellowship alumni
  • Additional time as needed to complete assigned readings and projects

Deliverables and Resources

Researcher and policy-maker fellows will work together collaboratively to define, develop, and present a final project—based on the researcher’s own work—to translate research for a policy audience. The project will be one of the following:

  • Writing and presenting testimony
  • Developing a one-pager
  • Writing an op-ed or participating in other media opportunities
  • Briefing legislators and staff or other policymakers
  • Developing an issue brief
  • Consulting for appropriate state agencies

Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of CHRT, and the fellowship steering committee are available to mentor the fellows. Administrative, communications, and other support are available from CHRT staff.

Connections with outside resources can be established through CHRT to help support the work (e.g., state fiscal agencies, state departments, and other cross-disciplinary academic experts).

To Apply

Register here to inquire about the 2016 CHRT Policy Fellowship

Fellowship Steering Committee

  • Rick Bossard, Government Relations Officer, University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers
  • Mark Cook, Vice President, Governmental Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Eileen Kostanecki, Director, Government and External Relations, University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy & Innovation
  • Jenifer Martin, Government Affairs Manager, University of Michigan, School of Public Health
  • Deidra Wilson, Manager, Governmental Affairs, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Marianne Udow-Phillips, Director, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation (CHRT)

Fellowship Staff

  • Leah Hatch-Vallier, Program Manager
  • Heather Guenther, Communications and Public Relations
  • Babette Levy, Staff Support