The APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government is designed to provide a unique public policy learning experience, to demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and to make a contribution to enhancing public health science and practical knowledge in government. The overarching goals are to increase the capacity of public health professionals to inform the discussions and the decisions of the individuals and institutions that influence or determine policies and to provide relevant expertise and analysis to support decision-makers confronting increasingly complex issues.
The fellowship aims to:
Establish and nurture critical links between federal decision makers and public health professionals;
Educate public health professionals about the legislative process and the skills necessary to be successful including the ability to translate complex public health issues into legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives;
Foster positive exchanges between public health professionals and policy makers; and
Increase the visibility and impact public health professional in the policy arena.
APHA is pleased to announce the 2014 Public Health Fellow in Government -
Termika Smith, MPA
Termika Smith, who spent the past five years working as a senior director and clinical administrator for the Mobile County Health Department’s Primary Care division, recently accepted the Public Health Fellowship in Government for 2014 from the American Public Health Association. Smith’s focus as a public health administrator was on education and prevention. In charge of the agency’s main adult health clinic from May of 2008 through August of 2013, Smith worked to increase funding to care for those with HIV and AIDS. In recent years, she oversaw an expansion of the program that grew to include behavioral care.
Smith said expanding the Ryan White clinic to see more patients in a timely manner, adding peer counselors and growing the practice to offer mental health care are some of the accomplishments she was most proud of during her tenure in Mobile. When she started in 2008, she said, staff members treated a total of 589 patients through the Ryan White program; there are currently over 700.
The addition of peer counselors, Smith said, created meaningful ways for patients to stay connected to care: “They provide the opportunity to reach patients in a way much different than someone in the clinic taking care of them.” Peer counselors are typically former or current patients who act as mentors to those seeking services through the Ryan White program.
Smith said she was first drawn to public health in high school, where she worked as a peer advocate, addressing personal health choices and disease prevention among fellow students. In college, she saw first-hand the devastating effects to coastal Alabama residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. One of her first jobs was as an outreach coordinator at the University of South Alabama Center for Healthy Communities where her responsibilities included addressing the ongoing needs of those most affected by the natural disaster and working to eliminate the health disparities many of them faced because of it.
A native of Montgomery, Smith headed south to attend college in Mobile, becoming active in youth counseling activities and public policy among other interests. Her memberships include the Alabama HIV Prevention Council, the Junior League of Mobile and the American Cancer Society Junior Leadership Council.
Smith, who earned an undergraduate and master’s degree from the University of South Alabama, is working to complete a doctoral degree in Education Leadership, Policy and Law from Alabama State University. She’ll head to D.C. to begin the fellowship in early 2014. “I’ve been interested in policy,” Smith said, “and this is an opportunity to see if I want to make it a career.”
Barbara Baylor, MPH, CHES
Recipient of the 2013 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow. Upon completion of her fellowship, Barbara has accepted a position as Policy Advocate for Health Issues with the DC branch of the United Church of Christ. She will apply her learning to help communicate and translate national policies to local faith and community organizations for action and to develop a national faith-based youth health policy.
Read about Barbara’s year on the Hill…
Jamesine (Jamie) Rogers, MPH
Recipient of the 2012 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow
André Stanley, MPH
Recipient of the 2011 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow engaging in the federal public policy process and to gain a deeper understanding of the membership, organizational structure and legislative processes and procedures of the United States Congress.
Read about André’s year on the Hill…
Craig Mosbaek, MPH
Recipient of the 2010 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow
Read about Craig’s year on the Hill…
Monica Feit, MPH
Recipient of the 2009 APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow
Read about Monica’s year on the Hill…
Fern Goodhart, MPH
Fern was selected as the first APHA Public Health Fellowship in Government and Brookings Institute LEGIS Congressional Fellow and currently works in the office of Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) championing domestic social issues affecting health, children, education, aging, Indian Health and Education and advancing legislative and policy recommendations.
Read about Fern's year on the Hill...
APHA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of an unrestricted grant from Pfizer External Medical Affairs.