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Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

The Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership empowers early-career physicians to become leaders in partnering with challenged communities to improve health systems.


Rural Health Leadership Fellowship

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

The fellowship is 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.

The Fellowship Program in Rural Health Leadership involves:

  • 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, the Mass General Disparities Solution Center’s disparities 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


Through service, dedication and excellence, the program will:

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

Key Program Staff

Fellowship Co-Director: Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE, Physician-in-Chief, Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital
Jackson Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

Fellowship Co-Director: Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH, Division of General Internal Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital


Rural Health Leadership Program Structure

Rural Health Leadership Timeline

Curriculum Structure

Primary Rural Clinical Site: 12-18 weeks per year in two-week blocks

Secondary Academic Clinical Site: One half-day per week when not at the rural site

The remainder of time will be divided between MPH coursework, the once-weekly curriculum, and flexible time for projects, education, or research depending on fellow interests.

Extensive opportunities for research, project implementation, education, further rural experience, and other opportunities are available depending on fellow career goals.

Program Partners

The program is sincerely grateful to all of its partners, who include:

The fellowship is based in the Mass General Division of General Internal Medicine within the Department of Medicine.

Clinical Experience

Primary Clinical Site

Badlands in Rosebud, South Dakota
Badlands in Rosebud, South Dakota

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 worst 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 eight to nine half-days a week. A small share of inpatient coverage, with an average census of zero to two patients, is typical. Program and Indian Health Service facility faculty 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 include:

  • Engagement with students in local high schools and sports programs
  • 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

The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship is excited to announce that we anticipate recruiting one fellow for the two-year fellowship beginning July 1, 2019.

The application cycle is:

-Applications open July 2, 2018

-Applications close September 28, 2018

The applications include:

  • The program application
  • Your CV
  • Three letters of recommendation, including a letter from a current program director or, if the applicant is no longer in training, a clinical letter from the direct clinical supervisor

All application materials including letters of recommendation should be emailed to the Rural Health Leadership Fellowship.

If you are interested in the program, please reach out at your earliest convenience to Associate Fellowship Director, Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH. Early contact allows for development of mentorship and projects in the year leading up to your fellowship, and the program offers a trip to the clinical site for all interested incoming fellows.

The fellowship lasts two years, from July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2021.


Rural Health Leadership Fellowship staff

  • Katrina Armstrong, MD, MSCE

    Fellowship Co-Director

    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 Co-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, play the keyboard and learning about teeth from his wife Lisa, who is a dentist.

  • 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 2016 - 2018

    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.

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