Sarah Moreland-Russell, PhD, MPH, Research Assistant Professor at Washington University’s Brown School and Senior Scientist for the Center for Public Health Systems Science, was recently selected as the 2015 American Public Health Association (APHA) Public Health Fellow in Government.
Dr. Moreland-Russell’s experience in conducting public health policy analysis and evaluation, and in dissemination and implementation research, have led her to this unique, hands-on public policy learning opportunity. Beginning in September 2015, she will spend one year working in Washington, D.C. on health related legislative, regulatory, and policy issues. She will also have the opportunity to serve on the staff of a member of Congress or on a congressional committee. “Although there is a shift towards a ‘health in all policies’ approach in public health, most academics and practitioners have never experienced firsthand the process and politics involved in developing and passing legislation. I am excited to have this amazing opportunity to become more politically astute, engage in legislative dialogue, and translate science in a way that supports decision-makers confronting increasingly complex issues,” says Dr. Moreland-Russell
The fellowship aims to:
- Establish and nurture critical links between federal decision makers and public health professionals;
- Educate public health professionals in the skills necessary to translate complex analysis of public health issues into legislative, regulatory and policy initiatives;
- Foster positive exchanges between public health professionals and policymakers;
- Increase the visibility and impact public health professional in the policy arena;
- Support the inclusion of sound public health science in policy with a particular focus on population health; and
- Create a culture of policy engagement for public health professionals.
According to APHA, “There is a critical need for public health professions, including practitioners and researchers, to engage in the federal policy process. The fellow will have the opportunity to see firsthand how public policy impacts public health and to offer her public health expertise to policymakers. This hands on experience will be invaluable to the field of public health, policymakers and the public health fellow.”