Public Health Professor Receives Prestigious National Fellowship

Categories: CHHS News

UNC Charlotte public health professor Dr. Michael Dulin has been selected for one of the nation’s most prestigious fellowships in health policy. Dulin is among six health professionals from across the nation named to the 2020-2021 class of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows.

Beginning in September, Dulin, who leads the Academy for Population Health Innovation (APHI), will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working on health-related legislative and regulatory issues with members of Congress and the executive branch. The fellowship will provide him with an insider’s perspective on the political process, advance his leadership skills, and create a lasting professional network.

“Now, more than ever, it is essential that policy decisions are informed by people with extensive front-line experience,” said Gregg Margolis, director of the RWJF Health Policy Fellows Program at the National Academy of Medicine. “We are proud to bring these six exceptional and accomplished professionals to Washington, D.C., at this critical time. Their deep experience offers an essential perspective, and will help create better policy options, and improve the health of the nation for years to come.”

Dr. Dulin’s policy focus is on understanding and ameliorating the impacts of climate change as well as the effect of artificial intelligence on health disparities. This interest developed across his 30-year career that has spanned the technology industry, biomedical and health services research, redesign of clinical care, community-based research, and application of data/analytics in healthcare.

“I’m thrilled that I can potentially use my knowledge and experiences to inform policies that prevent vulnerable populations from being left behind as primary care is transformed using artificial intelligence (A.I.),” Dulin said. “This is critically important because, although A.I. has tremendous promise to improve care delivery, it can also worsen disparities secondary to bias in the way data is collected and the gap in research data available on women and minorities. I also hope to work on policies that better link public health services and strategies to the major societal and infrastructure changes that are being implemented to mitigate the impacts of the ongoing pandemic.”

In his current position as director of APHI, Dulin leads a novel collaborative of researchers, clinicians and inter-disciplinary experts from UNC Charlotte and the Mecklenburg County Health Department (MCPH) to develop innovative solutions that address the Charlotte area’s most pressing community health needs. He has over 70 peer reviewed publications and book chapters related to this work. In the fields of health information technology and implementation science, Dulin is a nationally recognized leader in the application of data and analytics to improve care delivery and advance population health.

“The Mecklenburg County Health Department is incredibly appreciative of the partnership we developed with UNC Charlotte under Dr. Dulin’s leadership,” says Gibbie Harris, director of Mecklenburg County’s Public Health Department. “He has been instrumental in a wide array of important projects that are helping us to improve the health of our community.”

Dulin was selected from a national pool of accomplished mid-career health and behavioral/social science professionals who have an interest in health policy.

The fellowship program will commence with an intensive three-month orientation, followed by a nine-month assignment in a congressional office or the executive branch, where the fellows will be involved in health-related legislation and policy development. After their Washington assignment, the fellows will continue to receive support to sustain their development as health policy leaders.

Supported by the National Academy of Medicine and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the RWJF Health Policy Fellows program is the nation’s most prestigious learning experience at the nexus of health, science, and policy in Washington, D.C. Since 1973, this non-partisan fellowship has offered exclusive, hands-on policy experience with the most influential congressional and executive offices in the nation’s capital. As chancellors and deans at major academic institutions; presidents of professional societies and voluntary health organizations; leaders in local, state and federal government; and experts at think tanks and advocacy groups, fellows transform the nation’s health care policy and practice.

During Dulin’s one-year fellowship, he will maintain his appointments at UNC Charlotte within the Department of Public Health Sciences and the newly created School of Data Science. Upon his return, he will use his experiences from the fellowship to inform student training, service, and research opportunities. Dr. Michael Thompson, associate chair of the Department of Public Health Sciences, will serve as interim director of APHI.

by: Wills Citty