Rural Health Leadership Fellowship
Explore This Fellowship
Rural Health Leadership Fellowship
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 is 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.
Primary Care Physician Fellowship
Program structureThe Primary Care Physician Fellowship is a full time fellowship that offers early-career physicians 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
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 are currently being accepted for the two-year fellowship beginning July 1, 2023. Interviews are being offered on a rolling basis. The application cycle will close when all positions are filled.
We manage application materials electronically. Please make sure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are emailed to the program at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will confirm receipt. Please direct questions about the program or the application to Fellowship Director Stephanie Sun at email@example.com or Fellowship Coordinator Aislinn O’Keefe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application requires:
- A completed application form (PDF)
- A CV
- Three letters of recommendation, electronic or scanned, two of which are from current or past clinical supervisors
Faculty and Staff
Dr. Stephanie Sun was born in a small town in Ontario, Canada just two 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.
Program Director of Rural Programs
Matt Tobey, MD, MPH, is an internal medicine physician who works in primary care and inpatient care in Rosebud, South Dakota. He founded and 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 Oyate. 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. In his spare time, he enjoys running, playing piano, and reading.
Nicole Lurie, MD, MSPH 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.
Fellow, 2018–2020, Faculty, 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.
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 2005-2006 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.
Clinical faculty, 2016–
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.