The Fellowship Program includes formal training and a number of informal learning opportunities and supports, as outlined below.
Fellows participate in various IHI learning initiatives throughout the year, in accordance with their individualized learning plan. Fellows choose from a number of programs within the core curriculum, and draw on a discretionary fund to participate in other programs of interest. The core curriculum includes: Patient Safety Executive Development Program, Breakthrough Series College, Annual Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice and the Community, National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care, and a leadership event.
The Fellowship Seminar Series features internationally recognized experts in various aspects of patient safety, health and health care improvement, and leadership, who come to IHI to lead a small group discussion with the fellows.
Public Speaking and Adult Learning Principles
Fellows receive formal feedback and training in public speaking, advocacy, and adult learning principles throughout the year.
Fellows use a discretionary fund to visit organizations doing exceptional work in their areas of interest. Common visits include Qulturum in Jönköping, Sweden, Intermountain Healthcare, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and UPMC Shadyside, among others. Fellows often host their fellowship colleagues on a study tour of their home organizations.
IHI’s Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation Team
While at IHI, fellows participate in IHI’s R&D process, a well-established format of 90-day inquiry into those topics of greatest interest to IHI and the health care community. Fellows are encouraged to lead or participate in R&D projects of interest to them.
Harvard School of Public Health Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness
Most fellows participate in the six-week Summer Program in Clinical Effectiveness (PCE) at the Harvard School of Public Health at the start of their fellowship program. The PCE offers training in epidemiological and statistical principles and practices necessary to weigh evidence and design sound improvement projects; training in quality improvement principles; and mentoring in the design of projects relevant to quality assessment and improvement. Many fellows and their sponsoring organizations elect to complete the full MPH program, although the cost of the summer program and the additional MPH coursework is not covered by the Fellowship Program.
Other Learning Opportunities and Supports
Fellows are assigned an IHI mentor to provide overall guidance on meeting the fellow’s learning objectives for the year. Mentors offer coaching and support for the fellow and their home organization regarding transition home post-fellowship. Fellows also form informal mentor relationships with other IHI leaders throughout the year depending on common areas of interest.
Fellows are encouraged to become active team members in on-going IHI initiatives, contributing to strategy discussions, developing content, and coaching participants, as appropriate.
IHI’s publications team provides fellows with coaching, editing, and moral support in the preparation of manuscripts for submission to peer-reviewed journals and other publications.
Currently, IHI welcomes a small, heterogeneous group of fellows from around the world. Once here, fellows quickly form an efficient learning set – sharing their individual learning with the group to maximize their time at IHI, and supporting each other in attaining their learning objectives. Some fellowship “classes” have continued to work as closely knit learning groups beyond the fellowship year, in addition to their participation with the larger alumni group.
Current Fellows and Alumni Networking and Support
Current fellows interact with their colleagues and fellowship alumni during face-to-face networking opportunities, use of a listserv for discussions, and ongoing training.
Fellows and Alumni Network
The IHI Fellows and Alumni Network is a growing group of committed health care leaders who have the shared experience of the IHI Fellowship and who continue to offer mutual support in the hard work of improving care for patients. Alumni come together for networking and continued connection with IHI twice a year, at the National Forum in the US and the International Forum in Europe. Alumni have started a tradition of organizing an annual all-alumni meeting to come together to solve problems and further explore their aims as a group.
Fellows are connected with each other and the entire fellowship alumni group via an active listserv. Fellows use the listserv to prompt discussion on compelling topics, gather input on problems they are encountering with their work, and to plan for alumni meetings and events.
Fellows become a part of the IHI family during the fellowship and beyond. Virtually every meeting is open to fellows, including executive strategy meetings, meetings of the IHI Board of Directors, and project team meetings. Fellows’ seating assignments change three times a year, allowing them to share offices with all IHI senior executives. Fellows are frequently called on to offer their perspectives and expertise. They also attend all-staff retreats, holiday parties, and other celebrations throughout the year.