Health Leaders Fellowship


The Health Leaders Fellowship program is a leadership development opportunity for health professionals of all types, at any stage in their career.

As trusted spokespeople for institutional and policy change, health professionals are uniquely positioned to tackle some of our most pressing environmental health challenges.

The Health Leaders Fellowship program aims to develop and inspire local environmental health leaders through a series of issue and civic engagement trainings and field experiences.

Program Overview

Health Leaders learn from experts in the field about the connections between human health and the environment and what can be done to improve health outcomes. Fellows will develop the critical civic engagement skills needed to advocate for change within health care institutions and in the public policy arena. Through a unique guided practicum fellows will gain experience applying new knowledge and skills to help drive social change.


The curriculum focuses on learning and engagement in the following three areas:

  • Climate & energy – The use of fossil fuels contributes to an increase in global temperatures and acute health problems, such as rising rates of asthma and heart disease. Thus, climate change is one of the most pressing public health issues we currently face. Fellows will learn about clean energy sources, energy efficiency, and how to advocate for policies to decrease fossil fuel use. 
  • Toxics - Hazardous chemicals present in the environment, our homes, and everyday products are linked to certain cancers, autism and learning disabilities, and infertility. Fellows will learn how to foster safer chemical use in their institutions and how to advocate for policies to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Food - Our current food system favors industrial farming and manufacturing practices that have serious health implications. Rising rates of cancer, hormone, and reproductive conditions are among the most prevalent food-related health concerns. Through the program, fellows will learn how they can support a healthier food system.


Program Details

  • The Health Leaders Fellowship program will be delivered in eight modules featuring one in-person introductory training session, six or seven webinars, four interactive in the field experiences, and final commencement activities.
  • Fellows will work with local advocates on guided projects to put into practice their newly formed knowledge base and skill set.
  • The webinars will be attended remotely, and the in-person sessions will take place in locations, including Ann Arbor, Lansing, and the Metropolitan Detroit area.
  • All sessions are taught by experts in the topic being addressed in conjunction with leaders from the healthcare community.


Why should I apply?

  • Develop and grow as a leader and expand your skill set
  • Network with cutting-edge professionals and build a community of like-minded peers
  • Receive specialized training and the opportunity to put that training immediately into practice, receiving support, assistance, and feedback
  • Create social change, engage civic leaders, and have fun!
  • Earn continuing education credits


Who should apply?

We are looking for a diverse group of health professionals at all stages of their career, from students to retirees and with a wide range of specialties.

  • Nurses
  • Public Health Professionals
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Midwives
  • Medical and Nursing Students
  • Dietitians
  • Other health professionals

Ideal applicants are health professionals who are committed to prevention and passionate about creating safe and healthy environments where we live, work and play. They are also interested in helping to drive institutional, policy and systems transformation and advancement. This Fellowship is geared toward Michigan residents/practitioners.


Application Process and Program Timeline

Information for 2020 cohort will be released soon.

Interested in participating in our online webinars? Please contact Mara Herman at


Program Curriculum

The program is divided into three major phases: issue engagement, skill development, and practicum:

  1. Issue Engagement (March – April): This first set of modules will deepen your understanding of each of the three issue areas (as outlined above), and their implications for the health of individuals, communities, our nation, and the environment.
  2. Skill Development (May – August): In the second set of modules, you will examine issues through the lens of current and future strategies for catalyzing change. These modules incorporate field visits that allow you to interact with industry leaders and see first-hand some of the current models and modes of change.
  3. Practicum (September – January): During the final months of the program you will practically apply the knowledge and skills developed during parts 1 and 2. You will work with local advocates to develop this special project designed to jump-start your hands-on engagement.


Generous support for this training comes from the Joyce Foundation, the Energy Foundation, and the Marisla Foundation.


News  |  April 25, 2018
On April 5th, 2018, we celebrated the life and work of Dr. Rebecca Head and raised money for the Rebecca Head Fund for Education and Leadership at a reception at the home of long-time Ecology Center supporters Janis Bobrin and Mike Allemang.
News  |  March 27, 2018
Ashley Dehudy, 2017 Health Leaders Fellow and Pediatrician, speaks at Ecology Center's Membership Meeting.