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 build careers partnering with communities to improve health.
The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship represents 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. Our program is deeply grateful to our partner, the Sicangu Lakota Oyate, also known as the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, whose values and goals have guided the development of this fellowship program since its beginning in 2016.
Todd County, which encompasses the majority of Rosebud Reservation, is the site of the Indian Health Service’s Rosebud Service Unit, and 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.
Service, dedication and excellence.
The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship aims to:
- Develop early-career clinicians into leaders who will partner to transform health systems in resource-denied communities
- Provide exemplary training in clinician-led health systems transformation
- Serve its partner communities with respect, humility, and sustainability
- Serve as a model for meaningful partnerships for health systems transformation
The Rural Health Leadership Fellowship is a full time fellowship that offers early-career physicians clinical experiences on the Rosebud Indian 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 (~12 weeks/year)
- Clinical time in Boston attending on Mass General Brigham’s Home Hospital (4-6 weeks/year) and attending on MGH’s Internal Medicine resident teaching service (2 weeks).
- World-class curricula including: the Rural Health Equity, Leadership and Advocacy Exchange (RELAX), the Decolonizing Global Health for Equity curriculum (in partnership with the Boston Children’s Hospital Global Health Program), and a Settler Colonialism Curriculum
- Funding for elective experiences including away rotations and conference attendance
- A longitudinal, mentored capstone project tailored to fellow interests
- Career support through extensive mentorship, leadership coaching
- A vibrant and passionate network of academic and community-based health professionals across the nation
*If fellows already have an MPH or equivalent degree, funding will be offered for research or other coursework
Fellows serve clinically in Rosebud for approximately three months a year split into one- or two-week rotations, with the rest of the time spent in Boston. While in Rosebud, fellows work in inpatient and outpatient settings, sharing a primary care panel with a close-knit team of co-fellows and faculty.
The clinical partnership in Rosebud also offers opportunities 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 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 as we help communities transform their health.
How to Apply
Applications are currently being accepted for the two-year fellowship beginning July 1, 2024, and are due by October 30, 2023. Interviews are offered on a rolling basis as applications are received.
We manage application materials electronically. Please make sure that all materials, including letters of recommendation, are emailed to the program at email@example.com. We will confirm receipt. Please direct questions about the program or the application to Fellowship Director Stephanie Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org or Fellowship Coordinator Aislinn O’Keefe at email@example.com.
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
In its commitment to developing the next generation of rural health leaders, the RHL fellowship also provides mentoring and curricular support to a select group of early-career physicians with demonstrated commitment to working in rural communities. These Associate Fellows participate in fellowship coaching, mentorship, and didactics while continuing their clinical practice independent of the RHL fellowship. Contact our program to learn more.
We are also in the process of developing a fellowship for physician assistants and nurse practitioners and are accepting inquiries from interested applicants.
Kristen Sparagna, MD
Dr. Kristen Sparagna (she/her) is one of two fellows in the 2022 MGH Rural Health Leadership Fellowship cohort. She graduated with her BA from University of Chicago and her MD from Albany Medical College before completing a combined internal medicine-pediatrics residency at University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children's. She is passionate about addressing health inequities in rural communities and improving the quality of clinical care in low-resource settings.
Greg Yungtum, MD, MA
Dr. Greg Yungtum (he/him) grew up on a farm in Sumner, Iowa, and went to college at the University of Notre Dame to study Sociocultural Anthropology. He earned his MA degree in Medical Anthropology at Harvard University and his MD degree at the University of Iowa. He completed his internal medicine residency at Brown University, where he focused on primary care and gained experience in addiction medicine and HIV clinics. He is interested in global and rural health development, with previous experience in rural Western Uganda studying barriers to treatment within HIV outreach programs. His academic and clinical interests include infectious diseases (especially HIV, HCV, and STI treatment), addiction medicine, food security and Native food sovereignty, the culture and structures of western medicine, and ethical photography in global health. Dr. Yungtum joined the RHL Fellowship in 2022.
Sagar Raju, MD
Dr. Sagar Raju received his B.S. from Yale University where he studied biochemistry and served as a Yale Global Health Fellow. Prior to college, he spent a year working in rural India on emergency health systems design. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and completed Internal Medicine-Pediatrics residency at Mass General Hospital. He currently works as a med-peds hospitalist at MGH and at the Maniilaq Tribal Health Center in Kotzebue, Alaska providing clinical care and public health support for the tribal health system. Dr. Raju joined as an Associate Fellow in 2023.
Amelia Stutman, DO
Dr. Amelia Stutman, DO is a Family Medicine physician who completed her residency training at Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, PA. Specific focuses during residency included being a part of the maternity care track, research in preconception care and an intimate partner violence screening implementation at her continuity clinic. Currently, she spends 60% of the year working clinically in Kotzebue, AK. When not working, she is adventuring in the lower 48 with family, friends and spending time with her four cats. Dr. Stutman joined as an Associate Fellow in 2023.
Faculty and Staff
Stephanie Sun, MD, MSc, MPH
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 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, completed residency at the Yale-Waterbury Internal Medicine Residency Program, where she also completed a year as Chief Resident. Dr. Sun completed the MGH Rural Health Leadership Fellowship in 2020 and has been Director of the RHL Fellowship since 2021. 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 on hikes and trails.
- Matthew Tobey, MD, MPH - Director, MGH Rural Medicine Program
- Amina Chaudry, MD, MPH, MBA - Faculty (2021-present)
- Yun Li, MD, MBA - Fellow (2021-2023), Faculty (2023-present)
- Theodore Weatherwax, MD - Faculty (2023-present)
- Nicole Lurie, MD, MPH - Senior Advisor
- Joshua P. Metlay MD, PhD - Chief of Division of General Internal Medicine, Interim Chair of the MGH Department of Medicine
Affiliate Faculty & Staff
- Michael Sundberg, MD, MPH - Faculty (2016-present)
- Leah Ratner, MD - Affiliate Faculty (2021-present)
- Suzanne Koven, MD, MFA - Affiliate Faculty (2023-present)
- Aislinn O’Keefe, MBA - Program Manager
- Damon P. Leader Charge, MA - Sicangu Oglala Lakota, Director of Tribal Outreach, University of South Dakota, Assistant Coordinator, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine Diversity and Inclusion Office
- Tara Siebel - Leadership Coach
- Josephine Henderson Frost, MD, MPH (2019-2021)
- Vikas Gampa, MD, MPH (2019-2021)
- Hannah Wenger, MD (2018-2020, Faculty 2020-2022)
- Julian A. Mitton, MD, MPH (2017-2018, Research Fellow 2019-2020)
- Thomas Peteet, MD, MPH (2016-2018)
- Devin Oller, MD, MPH (2016-2017)