A healthy community is characterized not only by the absence of illness but by attributes that promote well-being and enable a high quality of life. In the US and across the globe, people are taking community-building into their own hands, bringing fresh produce to food deserts, demanding better public locations for physical activity, and advocating for clean water, public safety, and quality health services.
The Aspen Global Innovators Group and the Aetna Foundation are committed to amplifying the voices of local leaders spearheading community initiatives addressing inequities through the lens of the social determinants of health. The social determinants of health include social and environmental factors that affect life expectancy outside the doctor's office, like education, unemployment, food insecurity, housing, gender, race, and disability.
The Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship will select 5 leaders working on these issues in the United States to participate in a curated, one-year fellowship program to develop their voices as experts in the field of the social determinants of health.
Each fellow will:
Participate in a curated media training developed by the Aspen New Voices Fellowship, including writing and public speaking
Bring new conversations and ideas on addressing health inequities using the social determinants of health to major public platforms, including Aspen Ideas Festival Spotlight Health and the Aspen Ideas Incubator
Gain access to a global community of health leaders
Individuals that are selected to participate in the Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship will be living and working in the United States and meet the following selection criteria:
Focused on improving health outcomes by addressing the social determinants of health, including the environment, education, income inequality, unemployment, food insecurity, housing, social inclusion, health services, gender, race, or disability
Has a record of significant positive impact in a local community by addressing the social determinants of health in an innovative way, using an explicit equity lens
Fellow, organization, and community will uniquely benefit from activities of Aspen-Aetna Fellowship, as articulated in fellowship application
Has a passionate, personal connection to the community and the work
Demonstrates a willingness to receive collaborative feedback from group of fellows and trainers
Committed to work towards breakthroughs that improve health outcomes for everyone, everywhere
Fellows will receive:
Storytelling workshop, including writing and public speaking training, in Washington, DC
Participation in Aspen Ideas Festival: Spotlight Health conference, June 20-23, 2019 in Aspen, CO
Access to opportunities to share their stories and bring attention to their work
The Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship is unpaid; however, all travel, lodging and workshop costs will be covered by the program. Fellows must commit to participate in 2 in-person events in Washington, DC and Aspen, CO in January and June of 2019.
The Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship focuses on the social determinants of health, the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age that shape health. Approximately 60 percent of a person’s life expectancy is driven by factors outside of the doctor’s office – our individual behaviors, as well as social and environmental factors.
Millions of individuals in the US and across the globe struggle with food insecurity and obesity, face long-term exposure to pollution, and lack access to quality health services due to race, gender, and education. These factors need to be considered in an integrated fashion, engaging collaborators across disciplines who have not traditionally viewed their roles through a health lens. Given the powerful influences of racial inequity and segregation on health, a commitment to vanquishing disparities is also essential. How do we tear down social, economic and environmental barriers and build better health for all?
The Aspen Institute and the Aetna Foundation are committed to amplifying the stories of community leaders who are increasing access to healthy eating habits, safe water, physical activity, and basic health services. The leaders selected to participate in the Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship will be spearheading local initiatives to challenge health inequities in their communities in integrated and effective ways.
Applications will be accepted from Monday, September 17, 2018 through Friday, November 16, 2018. Five fellows will be selected and notified by Monday, December 17, 2018. Please contact Gina Rogari at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions related to the Aspen-Aetna Healthy Communities Fellowship. If you know of a leader who would be a good fit for this opportunity, please send us his/her name and email address.