WASHINGTON DC USA -- HEALTHCARE UPDATE NEWS SERVICE™ -- DECEMBER 12, 2023: In January 2022, Health Affairs created the Health Equity Fellowship for Trainees (HEFT) with the purpose of increasing the quantity and quality of manuscripts published on the topic of health equity, while cultivating future equity research leaders.
Modifications to the Fellowship
Applications are now open for the Fellowship program's third cohort.
As we launch the 2024 application cycle, I am writing to share updates on modifications to HEFT, thoughts on successes we've had since our inaugural cohort, and expectations for the fellowship moving forward.
We hope Health Affairs will continue to lead in addressing health inequities in scholarly publishing by providing opportunities for our Fellows to gain insight into the publishing process by networking with journal editors and likeminded health policy scholars.
In the program's first two years, Fellows had the calendar year (January to December) to submit their manuscript to Health Affairs or another journal for consideration. To that end, we implemented a multi-layered mentorship program with Health Affairs editorial staff that continued up until submission. Since then, we have learned the challenges that many of our fellows had faced under that timeline. Based on feedback and evaluations from both fellows and staff, we have decided to extend the HEFT program from 12 months to 18 months, effective immediately.
The current class of HEFT fellows began on January 1, 2023, and will now complete their program on June 30, 2024. The new 2024 cohort will begin on July 1, 2024, and end in December 2025.
Health Affairs has made a conscious effort to incorporate new voices among the authors in our pages, in general, in thematic issues, and in other programs aimed at elevating the topic health equity.
2024 Application and Selection Cycle
As described by Health Affairs Director of Health Equity Dr. Vabren Watts, in developing HEFT, we have intentionally committed to “creating a seat, or space, for all to engage and thrive at the table of scholarly publishing of health services research.”. By being at that table, you can influence key decisions when it comes to these initiatives. As program manager of HEFT, it's been rewarding to see how the program has evolved in a short amount of time.
Out of our inaugural cohort of 10 Fellows, 8 have submitted a manuscript to Health Affairs or another journal for consideration. Of those 8 fellows, 3 have had their manuscripts accepted, published, or both by Health Affairs or another journal. In other words, HEFT Fellows have 38% chance of transforming their HEFT-submitted abstract into an accepted publication. Although it may seem like a small percentage, this record is impressive given the low acceptance rates of high-impact journals, including Health Affairs which accepts approximately 10% of submitted papers.
HEFT Fellow Andrew Anderson, an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at John Hopkins saw his work published in the May 2023 issue of Health Affairs. With coauthors he examined the direct medical costs of disparities in preventable hospital admissions for heart failure among Black Americans living in the US South. He juxtaposed those findings by looking at differences in cost among Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaska Native populations living in the same area and then calculated the average annual excess cost associated with disparities in rates of heart failure hospital admissions.
HEFT Fellow Milkie Vu, Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University, saw her article published in the October 2023 issue of Health Affairs. With colleagues, her research probed the prevalence of food insecurity and participation in CalFresh, the California-implemented SNAP program as it pertains to low-income Asian Americans from six origin groups: Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese.
Lastly, HEFT Fellow Sarah Lieff, a Health Researcher at Mathematica, had her manuscript accepted by Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research. More details will be shared after official publication.
Our goal is to continue and increase this success among HEFT Fellows Getting one's research published is a time-consuming task, pre- and post-submission, and we hope that extending the fellowship from 12 to 18 months will give HEFT Fellows more time to work with their mentors to enhance the quality of their manuscripts.
We will select the 2024 HEFT Fellows using a process similar to last year's selection process. The Fellowship selection committee -- consisting of some of Health Affairs' editorial board members, health equity experts, and the journal's editorial staff -- will choose applicants based on the following categories and parameters:
- Study design
- Topic area
- Potential for social impact
- CV and Letter of Intent
- Applicant's dedication to health equity and health services research
- Leadership experience
- Engagement with peer-reviewed health services research publications and related presentations
- Recommendation Letter
- Support from home institution, organization, or other research-related references
Health Affairs will continue to be at the forefront of addressing health inequities along the dimensions of race and ethnicity via scholarly publishing. We hope to expand to other dimensions of equity in the future.
FOR E-MAIL ADDRESS CHANGE, ADD OR DELETE REQUESTS:
We invite all early career researchers doing research on the topic of health equity, health policy, and health services research to visit the Health Equity Fellowship for Trainees (HEFT) site and apply for the 2024 cohort before the February 15, 2024 deadline.
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