|Non-partisan program designed to share ideas, experience and enrich public policy|
Stephen P. England, MD
After an intensive selection process which included several rounds of interviews with White House officials, a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, St. Paul, Minn., was selected as one of 17 White House Fellows over a thousand applicants nationwide.
"It's a huge honor that is just sinking in now," says Dr. England. "It's an exceptional fellowship because of the ability to see how people focus at this level, function and make their decisions."
The White House fellowship program was initiated in 1964 to draw individuals of exceptionally high promise to Washington for one-year of personal involvement in the government process. It is a non-partisan program to inspire the cross-fertilization of ideas and experience of individuals from various backgrounds to enrich the practice of public policy.
Dr. England is an assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at the University of Minnestoa. He lecturers frequently in the U.S. and abroad on pediatric and adolescent health topics and serves on numerous state commissions that address health issues of disabled children. He holds a master's degree in Health Policy and Management from Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Md.
Fellows typically work for top Executive Branch officials, filling a special assistant role. Assignments include positions on the staff of the Executive Office of the President, Cabinet-level departments and agencies such as the FBI, NASA, and the Small Business Administration.
The Fellows will travel to other U.S. cities, domestic military bases and foreign countries to talk with locals about conditions and concerns which shape policy-making and problem-solving. Dr. England hopes to travel to Africa, an extension of an Ecuadorian medical mission where he operated on children with cerebral palsy. He founded the Children's Health Enrichment Program in St. Paul that teaches African American teenagers about health issues, provides mentoring and other academic guidance.
Dr. England begins his one-year fellowship this September. He believes he's a good candidate for it, "I'm portable, not married yet. A lot of guys with practices have bills to pay. It's a good time for me," says the 37-year old physician. He recommends his colleagues apply for fellowship, but realizes that not everybody is interested in policy-making and politics.
After his term ends, Dr. England plans to return to practice and facilitate change in the health care system.