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HHS Primary Care Fellowship

HHS Office and LocationThere is a fellowship opportunity at the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH), with the Primary Health Care Team at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C.

The mission of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is to enhance the health and well-being of all Americans, by providing for effective health and human services and by fostering sound, sustained advances in the sciences underlying medicine, public health, and social services.

Research Project:  The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health (OASH) is seeking an ORISE Fellow to serve as a public health analyst on the OASH Primary Health Care Team to support the HHS Initiative to Strengthen Primary Health Care.

This initiative aims to improve access to health care, health outcomes and health equity by providing a federal foundation for strengthened primary health care.  

Primary health care is the entry way to our health system and strong primary health care has been shown to improve health outcomes, longevity and health equity. Our nation’s primary health care foundation is in a weakened state.  

The OASH Primary Health Care team is coordinating the Initiative, working with 14 HHS agencies and offices. The first task for the Initiative is to develop an initial HHS Action Plan to Strengthen Primary Health care which will be presented Secretary Becerra in October, 2022. 

The OASH Primary Health Care Team is also engaging many and diverse external stakeholders and partners to inform the initial action plan and subsequent steps in the Initiative. 

Appointment Activities

  • 1. Support the coordination with HHS agencies and offices, including other offices within OASH
  • 2. Support external partner engagement, including listening sessions and analysis of Request for Information (RFI) responses
  • 3. Support the finalization of the initial action plan, including request for public comment and analysis of responses, HHS Clearance, and roll out plan
  • 4. Support the development of communications, presentations, summaries (e.g. RFI response themes), blog posts, website content
  • 5. Supporting program, policy, and process evaluations

Learning Objectives

  • 1. Develop knowledge and expertise in the needs and challenges of primary health care and potential innovations and solutions. 
  • 2. Understand how strengthened primary health care promotes improved health and health equity.
  • 3. Gain experience engaging with senior-level leadership and other Federal agencies. 
  • 4. Gain experience engaging external stakeholders 
  • 5. Gain experience creating a government-wide action plan

Mentor(s)The mentor for this opportunity is Judith Steinberg ( If you have questions about the nature of the research please contact the mentor(s).

Anticipated Appointment Start Date: October 17, 2022. Start date is flexible and will depend on a variety of factors.

Appointment LengthThe appointment will initially be for one year, but may be renewed upon recommendation of HHS and is contingent on the availability of funds.

Level of ParticipationThe appointment is 20-40 hours to be negotiated during selection. 

Participant StipendThe participant will receive a monthly stipend commensurate with educational level and experience. 

Citizenship RequirementsThis opportunity is available to U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR), and foreign nationals. Non-U.S. citizen applicants should refer to the Guidelines for Non-U.S. Citizens Details page of the program website for information about the valid immigration statuses that are acceptable for program participation.

ORISE InformationThis program, administered by ORAU through its contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to manage the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), was established through an interagency agreement between DOE and HHS. Participants do not become employees of HHS, DOE or the program administrator, and there are no employment-related benefits. Proof of health insurance is required for participation in this program. Health insurance can be obtained through ORISE.

The successful applicant(s) will be required to comply with Environmental, Safety and Health (ES&H) requirements of the hosting facility, including but not limited to, COVID-19 requirements (e.g. facial covering, physical distancing, testing, vaccination).

Questions: Please visit our Program Website. After reading, if you have additional questions about the application process please email and include the reference code for this opportunity.

The qualified candidate should be currently pursuing or have received a master’s or doctoral degree in one of the relevant fields. Most recent degree must have been received within five years of the appointment start date.

Preferred skills:

  • General knowledge of or demonstrated interest in learning about Primary Health Care
  • Experience performing literature reviews and searches
  • Basic qualitative analysis skills
  • Strong writing and analytical skills
  • Strong interpersonal, written, and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to conduct research collaboratively on a team
  • Ability to participate in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to independently prioritize time-sensitive work activities
  • Strong organizational and project management skills
  • Ability to research independently with little or no supervision
  • Demonstrate attentiveness to details and professional and diplomatic judgment