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Fellows Program

The only constant in health care is change. This challenge requires essential hospital leaders to think strategically, foresee change, and adapt. In addition, hospitals today must provide patients equitable care while improving the health of overall communities. Essential hospital leaders must make a commitment to understand the big picture, challenge the status quo, be sensitive to the populations they serve, and apply sound decision-making to provide high-quality care for all.

For more than 30 years, the Fellows Program has brought essential hospitals leaders together to unflinchingly look at the enormous challenges they face and provide the tools necessary to meet those challenges. The program includes a network of more than 650 alumni, some of whom have become CEOs of essential hospitals, C-suite leaders, and national health care thought leaders.

This 12-month leadership development program is designed for rising senior leaders in significant clinical or administrative roles at member hospitals. The purpose of the Fellows Program is to educate participants on issues that impact essential hospitals and provide the necessary skills to lead strategically and advocate for policies and resources that promote the health of vulnerable patients.


Program Goals

  • Strengthen the leadership skills needed to strategically lead essential hospitals
  • Broaden participants’ knowledge and outlook on issues facing essential hospitals
  • Inspire participants to become champions and advocates for excellence in health care for all
  • Build and sustain a network of health care leaders at America’s Essential Hospitals

Program Components

  • Leadership development training: The program comprises three highly interactive in-person classroom sessions (each 2.5 days) that include case studies, group work, and presentations from essential hospital leaders and subject experts.
  • Self-assessment: Each participant will have the opportunity to assess their leadership strengths and weaknesses.
  • Project: Each participant will work on a project of importance to their organization and have the opportunity to showcase their project at the annual conference.
  • Site visit: Participants will visit another member hospital and focus on a real-world case study of program topics.
  • Distance learning: Peer group coaching and supplemental activities will be held between in-person sessions. Participants will tap into their peers’ knowledge and discuss application of topics at their organization.
  • Networking: The program includes extensive networking opportunities with colleagues who share a similar mission, including peer-learning activities with other fellows on projects and leadership issues.
  • America’s Essential Hospitals’ conferences and events: Participants will attend VITAL, America’s Essential Hospitals’ annual conference, and the association’s spring Policy Assembly, including visits to congressional delegations on Capitol Hill.

Who Should Participate?  

The Fellows Program is open to all members. It is specifically designed for rising senior leaders in significant clinical or administrative roles at member hospitals.

Teams of at least two candidates from each organization are encouraged to apply to create a core group for future initiatives.

Key Dates

  • Dec. 15, 2023 — Applications open for the 2024–2025 Fellows Program class.
  • March 1, 2024 – Applications due for the 2024–2025 Fellows Program class.
  • March 15, 2024 — Applicants will be notified of acceptance.
  • Session 1 – June 17-19, 2024 (San Diego).
  • VITAL2024 – June 19-21, 2024 (San Diego)
  • Session 2 – Nov., 2024 (Dates and location TBD)
  • Session 3 – Feb./March, 2025 — Dates TBD, in Washington, D.C. (Held in conjunction with the association’s spring Policy Assembly).

Program Cost

Tuition is $17,000, which includes three in-person sessions, access to leading health care experts and member CEOs, curriculum materials, some meals, and a hospital site visit. America’s Essential Hospitals conference registration, and distance learning activities between sessions. Each participant’s sponsoring organization is responsible for travel and lodging expenses.

Refund policy: Participants will be accepted to the class and invoiced in March. Tuition fees are nonrefundable within 30 days before Session 1. Partial refunds will be given for unplanned events and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


Interested in Future Leadership Development Programs?

Leadership Development Request for Information
Please use your work email address.
Which member do you work for?


Each applicant must be nominated by the organization’s CEO. If the applicant is accepted, America’s Essential Hospitals, the fellow’s sponsor and direct supervisor will agree to form a partnership to optimize the benefit of the program to the participant and his or her sponsoring organization. The sponsor can be the organization’s CEO, another senior leader or direct supervisor. Each sponsor/direct supervisor will sign a letter of commitment to:

  • Support each fellow’s participation in program activities.
  • Meet with the fellow(s) before the first session and after each session to discuss program progress and projects.
  • Help fellow(s) develop a project and provide guidance throughout the program.


Download the 2024 – 2025 Fellows Program Brochure


Please contact Manager of Education Vashon Coehins at or 202.585.0100

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