Rural Health Leadership Fellowships

The Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership provides world class training to early-career clinicians who seek to partner with rural communities to improve health.

The fellowships represent part of an effort by Massachusetts General Hospital's Department of Medicine and Division of General Internal Medicine to partner with rural communities to meet their goals for health care and health systems improvement.


Through service, dedication and excellence, the fellowships will:

  • Develop early-career clinicians into leaders who will partner to transform health systems in resource-limited communities
  • Provide exemplary training in clinician-led health systems transformation
  • Serve its partner communities with respect, dedication, and sustainability
  • Serve as a model for meaningful partnerships for health systems transformation


Rural Health Leadership offers one ongoing fellowship programs: a fellowship for physicians in partnership with the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and the Indian Health Service, begun in 2016. It is also developing a fellowship for physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which is accepting inquiries from interested applicants.

MD/DO Fellowship

Primary Care Physician Fellowship

Program structure

Badlands in Rosebud, South Dakota

The Primary Care Physician Fellowship is a full time fellowship that offers early-career physicians in clinical experiences on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota. Key components of the fellowship include:
  • A Master’s Degree in Public Health at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health*
  • Focused clinical time in Rosebud, South Dakota at an Indian Health Service site
  • Three world-class curricula: A novel rural health curriculum, a home-grown leadership curriculum, and public health courses
  • Funding for elective away rotations and conference attendance
  • A longitudinal, mentored project tailored to fellow interests
  • Career support through extensive mentorship and program flexibility


*If fellows already have an MPH or equivalent degree, funding will instead be offered for research or other coursework

Clinical experience

The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship is deeply grateful to our primary partner, the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, whose values and goals guided the development of this fellowship program.

Todd County, the site of the Indian Health Service’s Rosebud Service Unit, is one of the counties with the lowest median income in the United States with unemployment hovering between 80 and 90%. Age-adjusted mortality rates are among the highest in the nation. Todd County's remote location compounds its challenges.

Fellows will serve clinically in Rosebud for approximately three months a year split into two-week rotations, sharing a primary care panel with a close-knit team of co-fellows and faculty. While in South Dakota, fellows will work primarily in primary care, performing nine half-days a week. A small share of inpatient coverage is typical. Fellowship and Indian Health Service facility supervision are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for clinical support.

The clinical partnership in Rosebud offers fertile ground for participation in and development of community-centered programs. A sampling of active efforts includes:

  • Engagement with students in local high schools
  • Leadership of a new clinical program in the tribe’s jail
  • Development of a primary care-based hepatitis C treatment program
  • Development of groups visits and medication assisted treatment for community members with substance use disorders
  • Strengthening of the facility’s population health management and quality improvement efforts
  • Leadership of educational curricula for staff at the facility as well as for Rosebud’s robust community health worker program
  • Preceptorship and teaching of rotating students and residents from various disciplines

Join us, or support us, as we help communities transform their health.

How to Apply

Applications open July 1, 2019 through September 30, 2019 for the two-year fellowship period that begins on July 1, 2020.

 We manage application materials electronically. Please make sure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are emailed to the program at ruralmedicine@mgh.harvard.edu. We will confirm receipt. Please direct questions about the fellowship to Fellowship Director Matthew Tobey at matthew.tobey@mgh.harvard.edu.


The application requires:

  • A completed application form (here)
  • A CV
  • Three letters of recommendation, electronic or scanned, two of which are from current or past clinical supervisors

NP/PA Fellowship

Program structure

The MGH NP/PA Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership is a part-time (25%), three-year fellowship for primary care NPs and PAs. The goal of the fellowship is to support rural health and leadership competencies for PAs and NPs across the career spectrum. The structure of the fellowship is in development.

Key components of the fellowship include:

  • A clinical commitment to a rural community through an academic partnership program
  • A focus on the delivery of outpatient clinical care
  • A rural health curriculum
  • A home-grown leadership curriculum
  • Conference attendance and care improvement projects
  • A longitudinal, mentored project tailored to fellow interests
  • Career and clinical support through faculty mentorship

Financial support will be included for clinical effort. Fellows will join a weekly call when not at their rural site to promote continuity of care for shared patients and progress on shared projects.

Requirements of the fellowship include:

  • Commitment to a rural clinical role.
  • Appropriate clinical training and licensing to provide excellent adult primary care
  • Agreement that fellowship placement is also contingent on completing credentialing and hiring at the clinical partner site


Clinical experience

The clinical partnership will focus on primary care delivery, quality assurance and process improvement, community-based work, and village visits to establish regular contact with patients. The clinical plan for the fellowship is under development.


How to Apply

Note: applications have been placed on hold during a period of planning and reorganization.

Any interested potential applicants are encouraged to contact the program at ruralmedicine@mgh.harvard.edu or Fellowship Director Matthew Tobey at matthew.tobey@mgh.harvard.edu.


Rural Health Leadership Fellowship staff

  • Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE

    Senior Advisor

    Katrina A. Armstrong, MD is the Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Chair of the Department of Medicine and Physician-in-Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital. She is an internationally recognized investigator in medical decision making, quality of care, and cancer prevention and outcomes, an award winning teacher, and a practicing primary care physician. She has served on multiple advisory panels for academic and federal organizations and has been elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Institute of Medicine. Prior to coming to Mass General, she was the Chief of the Division of General Internal Medicine, Associate Director of the Abramson Cancer Center and Co-Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program at the University of Pennsylvania.

  • Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH

    Fellowship Director

    Matt Tobey, MD, MPH, is an internal medicine physician who works in primary care in Rosebud, South Dakota. He founded and co-directs the rural initiatives in the Massachusetts General Hospital Department of Medicine, including the MGH Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership as well as partnerships with the Indian Health Service and the Sicangu Lakota. His interests including providing high quality primary care in rural communities, as well as providing excellent primary care for patients with addictions or involvement with the criminal legal system. When he’s not working, he enjoys running, playing the keyboard and learning about teeth from his wife Lisa, who is a dentist.

  • Nicole Lurie, MD, MDPH

    Senior Advisor

    Nicole Lurie, M.D., M.S.P.H. is a member of the research faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital and a senior lecturer at Harvard Medical School.  She is also the Strategic Advisor to the CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives (CEPI and is an honorary fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania.  She recently completed an 8-year term as Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the US Department of Health and Human Services.  In that role she led the HHS response to numerous public health emergencies, ranging from infectious disease to natural and man-made disasters and is responsible for many innovations in emergency preparedness and response.  She also chaired the Public Health Emergency Medical Countermeasures Enterprise, a government wide organization ultimately responsible for the development of medical countermeasures, including vaccines against pandemics and emerging threats.  Following that, she served as Senior Advisor to the Director of the Indian Health Service, where she worked on issues related to quality of care.  Prior to federal service, she was the Paul O'Neill Professor of Policy Analysis at RAND, where she started and led the public health preparedness program and RAND's Center for Population Health and Health Disparities.  She has also had leadership roles in academia, as Professor of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Minnesota, as Medical Advisor to the Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health, and as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services. 

    Dr. Lurie has a long history of collaboration on American Indian/Native American health issues.  In Minnesota, she co-led an initiative on Native women’s health, and in government she played significant roles in enhancing the quality of data on the health of AI/AN populations, and more recently, addressing staffing and quality of care issues in the Great Plains Area. 

    Dr. Lurie received her BA and MD degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her residency and public health training at UCLA.  Her research has focused on access to and quality of care, health system redesign, equity, mental health, public health and preparedness.  She is recipient of numerous awards and is a member of the National Academy of Medicine.  She continues to practice clinical medicine in a community clinic in Washington DC.

  • Nicole Collins, MPH

    Program Coordinator

    Nicole Collins first became acquainted with Rosebud Reservation in 2011, when she taught middle school science at St. Francis Indian School through Teach for America. After teaching for four years, Nicole obtained her MPH from Yale School of Public Health, where her thesis focused on young Sicangu parents’ decisions around and attitudes towards contraception, based on original qualitative research.  Nicole returned to Rosebud as a Gruber Fellow in Women’s Rights from Yale Law School, assisting the tribe’s health administration on maternal and child health endeavors. When she’s not working with the incredible team of MGH doctors, Nicole teaches education courses at Sinte Gleska University and drums for Little White River Band.

  • Stephanie Sun, MD MS

    Fellow 2018-2020

    Dr. Stephanie Sun was born in a small-town in Ontario, Canada just 2 hours outside Toronto.  With a love for the outdoors and initial plans for a career as a research scientist, she graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor's of Science in Biology and a Masters in Science in Evolutionary Genetics and Bioinformatics. After volunteering on a medical mission in rural China and a year spent working with YWCA Canada, a multi-service women's organization for families fleeing situations of violence, her career path took a turn toward medicine.  Dr.Sun graduated from the Keith B. Taylor Global Scholars Programme of St.George's University, having studied medicine in England, Grenada, and New York City. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at the Yale New Haven Medical Center - Waterbury Hospital Program, where she was also Chief Medical Resident.  As a former varsity swimmer who competed at the Canadian 2008 Beijing Trials (she insists she was "just happy to be there") she continues to enjoy time in the water, and exploring the outdoors through new hikes and trails.


  • Hannah Wenger, MD

    Fellow 2018-2020

    Dr. Wenger received her BS from University of Notre Dame and MD from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. She first visited Rosebud while leading rural healthcare-focused trips for fellow medical students, and is thrilled to be back. She has extensive teaching and mentoring experience, and has a passion for improving quality of care for LGBTQ people.

  • Thomas Peteet, MD MPH

    Fellow 2016-2018

    Tom Peteet is an internal medicine physician and lifelong educator. He received his B.A in physics and philosophy from Wesleyan University and graduated with High Honors in philosophy. He taught math and special education for three years in St. Louis with Teach for America. He graduated from University of Massachusetts Medical School and completed internal medicine training at Boston Medical Center. He completed the Rural Health Leadership Fellowship at Massachusetts General hospital in 2018, as well as an M.P.H at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health. He is currently a primary care physician in Boston and is an Adjunct Professor within the Boston University Prison Education Program.

  • Julian A. Mitton, MD MPH

    Fellow 2017-2018, 2019-2020

    Julian A. Mitton, MD MPH, is a primary care physician and rural health fellow in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). He divides his time clinically between a community health center in Boston and the Indian Health Service in South Dakota. He has an interested in addition medicine and medical education, spending time on the inpatient addiction consult and teaching services at MGH. Julian completed medical school at the State University of New York before his residency in global primary care at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He is also a graduate of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    Julian has a research interest in addiction medicine, community and rural health care, and physician advocacy. He has conducted research on the intersection of addiction and cardiovascular disease, including a study on smoking patterns among people living with HIV in rural Uganda and is co-PI on a qualitative study on endocarditis and complications of intravenous drug use. Julian has additionally published editorials on topics ranging from addiction treatment in primary care to gun violence prevention research. He helps leads the MGH residency elective in physician advocacy and serves as a faculty mentor for the MGH Social Justice Advocacy Coalition.

  • Omar Amir, MD MPH

    Clinical faculty 2016 - 

    Omar Amir is from Karachi, Pakistan. He studied at Dartmouth College on scholarship where he was a national Beckman scholar for research in Organometallic Chemistry. He is a graduate of the Master of Science program at the Harvard School of Public Health studying social epidemiology, where he was awarded the Student Recognition Award from Harvard University for his work done in northern Pakistan over the winter of 2005-6 for Real Medicine Foundation. He then moved on to obtain his MD from Stanford School of Medicine. In Pakistan, he worked with War Against Rape, an NGO based in Karachi, documenting cases of rape and violence against women. Dr. Amir continues to rotate out to Rosebud beyond his fellowship. He speaks Urdu, Hindi and Arabic.

  • Krupa Parikh, MD

    Clinical faculty 2018 - 2019

    Dr. Parikh was born in India and immigrated to the US with my family as a toddler; she was mostly raised in Ohio thereafter. She became interested in primary care and social determinants working as an AmeriCorps member to improve access to public benefits for her community members. During her residency training at Cambridge Health Alliance, she learned the importance of providing evidence-based, equitable, and compassionate care for all. Dr. Parikh had the opportunity to visit Rosebud during her residency and was struck by the generosity and resilience of the community.

  • Michael Sundberg, MD, MPH

    Clinical faculty 2016-2018

    Dr. Sundberg is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota. He is a graduate of the Stanford University School of Medicine, and completed residency training in internal medicine and pediatrics at the Harvard Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital program. He completed additional training through the Brigham and Women’s Hiatt Global Health Equity Residency, and received a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. He works clinically in the Twin Cities and in Rosebud, South Dakota. His interests include global health, rural health system strengthening, health care disparities, and medical education.


Contact Us

Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

Please direct questions and comments to the Associate Program Director, Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH. Please see the How To Apply tab for information about applying to the program.

Back to Top