TCOM Graduates two from prestigious AACOM Fellowship

By Steven Bartolotta

Dr. Jessica Edwards
Dr. Jessica Edwards
Dr. Janice Knebl
Dr. Janice Knebl

The Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduated one physician and one alumni from the highly esteemed American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship.

Dr. Janice Knebl, TCOM’s Interim Chair of Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, along with Dr. Jessica Edwards, a 2014 TCOM graduate, finished the year-long fellowship and training on December 6.

“The Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship experience was incredible,” Dr. Edwards said. “I had the opportunity to learn from health experts from all over the United States. It was very special for me to be a part of this Fellowship because I was given the opportunity to learn more about health systems and how my reach extends beyond just patient care.”

Dr. Knebl and Dr. Edwards join the ranks of more than 260 osteopathic physicians and other health care professionals to complete the national program that prepares leaders to engage in the formulation, analysis, and advocacy of policy that seeks to improve population health.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2019-2020 Fellows experienced an extended year. Beginning with Orientation in August of 2019, face-to-face sessions were held as scheduled through February. As the pandemic developed, and the personal risk of travel and facility closures became apparent, the remainder of the year was completed virtually.

“The OHPF has been a truly worthwhile professional development activity for me that has come at a wonderful time in my career as I consider how to make a larger impact on the care for older adults within U.S. Health Care,” Dr. Knebl said. “I greatly appreciated the sessions learning about federal and state health care policy and programs. Also, given that I have been involved in medical education for over 30 years, I would also like to assist in the development and application of health policy curriculum for osteopathic medical students.”

The Osteopathic Health Policy Fellowship (OHPF) is a year-long leadership training program designed to give osteopathic physicians the skills they need to analyze, formulate, and implement health policy on the local, state, and national levels, with the purpose of increasing access to affordable, quality health care.

Established in 1994, alumni of the program have served as policy advisers in public and private forums to the profession, legislators at the local, state, and national levels, diverse health-centered institutions, and other health leadership groups. The program is designed for practicing or teaching osteopathic physicians who are preparing for leadership roles in the profession and positions of influence in health policy.

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