Adolescent Sexual Health Quality Improvement Fellowship

What is it?

A year-long professional development program to build expertise in QI methodology and project facilitation, and build content knowledge in adolescent sexual health best practices.

Who is eligible?

Public health professionals in CDC-funded state and city STD programs and staff of the National Network of Prevention Training Centers.

How do fellows gain expertise?

The fellowship offers access to expert faculty in adolescent sexual health care and QI methods, in-depth technical assistance, and one-on-one coaching in QI project facilitation based on Lean and the Model for Improvement methodologies.

The National Quality Improvement Center (NQIC), together with Population Health Improvement Partners (PHIP), has been funded by the CDC’s Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) to offer a quality improvement (QI) capacity-building program entitled the Adolescent Sexual Health (ASH) QI Fellowship.

The ASH QI Fellowship is a leadership and training program for staff from CDC DSTDP-funded state/city STD programs and Prevention Training Centers (PTCs) to build skills that will help assure the delivery of quality clinical sexual health services for adolescents in their project areas. The primary goal of the fellowship is to train public health professionals to design and lead QI interventions in partnership with their local clinical practices.  Towards this goal, fellows will receive extensive training and skills-building support in QI methods and tools, as well as subject matter expert education on sexual healthcare best practices for adolescent patients.

An important secondary goal of the fellowship is to build QI capacity among the STD public health workforce that can be applied across many areas of their organizations and programs.  The training will foster experience in useful functions that are expected to enhance fellows’ professional capacity, including skill building in managing change, facilitating team events, and identifying and reducing inefficiencies in operational processes.

The training program will increase knowledge of and confidence in each fellow’s ability to:

  • Lead a QI project and sustain the related improvements
  • Develop QI project aim statements and measurable goals
  • Collect, analyze, and interpret data on which to base decisions
  • Facilitate rapid-QI events (based on Lean “Kaizen” principles) in clinical settings
  • Demonstrate the use of essential QI tools
  • Coach and mentor QI project teams
  • Provide technical assistance to clinical partners on best practices and innovative solutions in adolescent sexual healthcare

The program includes the following instructional components:

  • Didactic instruction: expert faculty in STD clinical care, adolescent sexual health, and QI methods will provide engaging instruction via web-based and in-person classroom workshops
  • Self-directed learning: participants will complete required readings and online research
  • Mentoring and coaching: participants will be aligned with a QI expert trainer for 1-on-1 coaching
  • Experiential learning: participants will apply tools to a final QI project with a local clinical partner
  • Peer-to-peer learning: participants will share and learn with other fellow participants
  • Individuals working for a CDC Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP)-funded state or city health department STD program (full or part-time)
  • Individuals working for a CDC DSTDP-funded Prevention Training Center, including Centers for Evaluation, Curriculum, QI, Technology, and Coordination (full or part-time)

Teams of 2 are strongly encouraged to apply.  Each fellow in the team should complete a separate application.  Examples of teams could include:  2 fellows from the same state STD program, 1 fellow from a state STD program and 1 from the corresponding PTC, 1 fellow from a state STD program and 1 from a AAPPS-funded city STD program in that state, etc.

  • Letter of support from supervisor (required template provided)
  • Project management experience
  • Prior exposure to QI concepts (e.g., Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles) or completion of basic QI training
  • Preferred: Prior participation in clinical QI interventions
  • Participation: Fellows are expected to attend and participate in all fellowship activities.
  • Final Project: Fellows will complete a final clinical QI project where each fellow (or fellow team) will co-facilitate an adolescent sexual health-focused onsite QI event within a local clinic setting, ideally a primary care practice (e.g., pediatric, family practice, federally-qualified health center).
    • Fellows will be strongly encouraged to secure a clinical site partner by mid-January
    • Expert QI facilitators will provide on-going coaching to fellows/fellow teams to guide them through their final project, will help to support pitching and planning calls with clinical partners, and will co-facilitate the final QI events together with the fellows.
  • Information sharing: Fellows are expected to share their training experience and newly developed QI skills with others in their organization through formal or informal opportunities, as well as with external audiences if opportunities are identified (e.g., via local/regional conferences, National STD Prevention Conference, NQIC newsletters, etc.).
  • Optional activities: Fellows will be encouraged to stay engaged with continuing education and future cohorts through teaching and coaching opportunities.
  • Fellow Support: Supervisors will allow protected time to complete fellowship requirements. Monthly check-ins with fellows on project progress is strongly encouraged.
  • Optional activities: Supervisors and fellows are encouraged to identify opportunities to share lessons learned during the fellowship within their organization.
  • The fellowship training program is offered free of charge.
  • Fellows will be provided reimbursement (hotel, mileage/flight, per diem) for travel to the in-person training in North Carolina (up to a predetermined amount based on federal per diem and hotel rates).
  • Note: The fellows’ home organizations are expected to support their fellows’ travel expenses related to the implementation of the weeklong final QI project in a local clinic practice.  Travel stipends to offset these costs may be available on a case-by-case basis.
  • Attend/participate in ~10 web-based workshops (2 hours per workshop; ~2 workshops per month)
  • Complete homework assignments before/after each web-based workshop (~1 hour per workshop)
  • Participate in monthly one-on-one huddles with QI Coach (~30-60 minutes per month)
  • Attend an in-person training in North Carolina (3 days plus travel)
  • Recruit and secure local clinic practice partner for final QI project (time commitment varies)
  • Help to plan, prep for, and co-facilitate a rapid-QI event with a local clinic site. This includes coordinating a clinical best practices training, implementing the ~5-day on-site event, and participating in 2-3 planning calls and 30-, 60-, and 90-day follow-up calls with the clinical partner (5 days on-site, plus ~15-20 hours prep and follow-up time)
  • Present a final PowerPoint report to summarize final project results and lessons learned (~1 hour)

Note: This fellowship offers a robust, advance-learning opportunity that requires focused engagement to complete all activities and requirements during the trainings and final clinical site project. Given the intensity of these activities, fellows will be expected to carve out dedicated time to focus exclusively on fellowship duties.

DateTimeTopicCoaching Calls*Final QI Projects**
8/293-5pm ETWeb-based Workshop  
9/53-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
9/153-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
10/33-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
10/173-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
10/24-27 In-Person Workshop: North CarolinaX 
11/73-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
12/53-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
1/93-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
1/233-5pm ETWeb-based WorkshopX 
Feb-Jun  XX
JulyTBDFinal Report Outs via Webinar  

*Individually scheduled by fellows/fellow team and their QI coach

**Final on-site clinical projects will be individually scheduled with partner clinic practices and the fellows’ QI coach starting in March with the goal of completing all final projects by the end of June.

Individual applications will be considered based on the following criteria:

  1. Level of QI Experience: we will accept applicants with varying levels of QI experience, but preference will be given to applicants with experience designing, implementing, or evaluating QI interventions.
  2. Commitment to Continuous QI: applicants must be able to articulate the value of building their capacity in QI to their supervisor, sector, and in relation to their own professional development.
  3. Organizational Support: applicants must demonstrate, through completion of the required Supervisor Support Letter, that they have the support of their supervisor to participate fully in the training program, including the time investment required for the completion of a final QI project with a local clinic practice.
  4. Position within the organization: applicants must be able to demonstrate how their participation in the ASH QI Fellowship will increase QI activities at their organization. Specifically, applicants must have the ability and desire to bring their training experience and QI skills back to their organization and apply them to various operational and program efforts, including helping to assure quality sexual health services for adolescents in their project area.


Application Requirements

  1. Review this application information.
  2. Complete Online Application.
  3. Complete Supervisor Support Letter — sign, scan, and email completed letter to:


Application Due Date

Both the online application and the Supervisor Support Letter must be submitted no later than July 14, 2017.  Acceptance decisions will be communicated by July 24, 2017.


Each Individual applicant, and their supervisor, must pre-certify that the following requirements can and will be met if the applicant is chosen:

  1. Applicant understands that attendance is a requirement and supervisor supports full attendance in all training, prep-work, and final project activities.
  2. Supervisor and applicant understand that travel costs associated with the in-person training in North Carolina will be reimbursed to applicant.
  3. Supervisor acknowledges that their organization will support any travel costs associated with their applicant’s implementation of their weeklong final QI project at a local clinical practice. (Note:  Travel stipends may be available on a case-by-case basis to offset these costs if they cannot be encumbered by the home organization.)
  4. Supervisor will fully support the applicant during the fellowship to spend an average of ~16 hours per month of staff time to participate in required fellowship training and final project activities.
  5. Supervisor will encourage the applicant to share their learning with their own organization staff, and will help the applicant identify opportunities for this sharing.
  6. Applicant must have a work email address that is checked daily.
  7. Fellows will communicate with the NQIC if potential barriers to participation arise.


Please contact Holly Howard

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