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Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Commissioner's Fellowship in Public Health

We are not currently accepting applications. Please visit our website in 2022 or more updates. 


The Program

The Commissioner’s Fellowship is a one-year program that can be extended for a potential second year. The first year allows the fellow to serve primarily in a home office as a full-fledged team member. The home offices available are the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Division of Family Health and Wellness, with descriptions of each below. The fellow will also complete two, part-time rotations in other sections of the department, including a local health department. These rotations are designed around the interests of the fellow and the agency needs. If TDH and the fellow mutually agree to a second year, the fellow will continue to serve in the home office while pursuing a capstone project. Previous projects included a detailed history of TDH’s response to the opioid epidemic, literature reviews, and the development of resources and suggested practices for TDH programs. 

The Position 

This is a unique career development and mentorship opportunity for recent graduates interested in public health. As part of a home office, the program allows fellows to gain practical, hands-on experience addressing critical public health challenges with the support of an experienced team. The rotations allow fellows to gain insightful exposure to the diversity and depth of work performed in a state health department. Each fellow’s work plan is tailored to career goals and interests, supporting professional growth along the fellow’s desired career path. Previous fellows developed products that were presented to the Governor and state legislature. Graduated fellows have gone on to successful careers within TDH and have been accepted to prestigious graduate programs. 

More than Just an Internship

The fellowship is designed to be an on-the-job training program. More than an internship or practicum, the length of the program and full-time nature of the experience allows fellows to perform meaningful work that contributes directly to TDH’s mission and home office responsibilities. Serious time within the home office is devoted to mentorship, and connections across the department expose fellows to a wide array of leaders and additional potential mentors. 

Selected fellows will be located in Nashville, and their home office will be determined by their interest area. Each fellow will participate in topical rotations, which will be selected based on personal interests and career goals. During the rotations, the fellows' time will be divided between their designated rotations and their primary home.

Home Office Descriptions: 

Office of Strategic Initiatives

The Office of Strategic Initiatives is an executive-level office that supports the department's senior leaders in making the best decisions to further the trust and impact of TDH’s work to protect, promote, and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. Our team stewards the department’s strategic planning process, facilitates multidisciplinary goal teams for each of TDH’s strategic priorities, supports other TDH divisions and offices in their strategic planning processes, and manages several key strategic and policy research initiatives for the commissioner. An important component of TDH’s strategic planning process includes a local-level community health improvement process (CHIP), driven by local health coalitions and supported by TDH, to improve alignment and impact of health initiatives across Tennessee. OSI provides statewide leadership and technical assistance for CHIPs and local health coalitions.

Example Responsibilities:

  • Provide facilitation support to strategic goal teams, including management of action items, measurement of progress metrics, and mid-course adjustments to tactical action steps      
  • Support the evaluation of strategic goal team activities and other TDH initiatives
  • Develop processes and products to implement strategic planning at local and regional health departments and within central office divisions and offices
  • Assist with development of strategic plan and local CHIP infrastructure, including dashboards, visualizations, and reporting systems
  • Foster team building and community for a growing group of strategic planners within TDH
  • Conduct policy research on key legislative and population health topics, including writing issue briefs and white papers

Division of Family Health and Wellness

The Division of Family Health and Wellness (FHW) implements programs for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) population that improve the health of women (including mothers), infants, children, adolescents and their families, as well as those with special health care needs.  Programs include breastfeeding support, family planning, breast and cervical cancer screening, adolescent pregnancy prevention, rape prevention, maternal mortality case review, newborn biometric and hearing screening, birth defects surveillance, fetal/infant mortality case review, childhood lead poisoning prevention, Adverse Childhood Experience reduction, child fatality case review, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, tobacco use reduction, injury prevention, suicide prevention, traumatic brain injury survivor support, home visiting, and Children’s Special Services.

 Example Responsibilities:

  • Utilize online databases to search and identify evidence-based programs that could be implemented in Tennessee  
  • Create communication plans for programs to message their information to the public via the state website, Facebook page, and Twitter accounts etc.       
  • Create and implement evaluation plans for FHW programs to measure efficiency and effectiveness
  • Create maps (using ArcGIS and/or Tableau software) of disease burden and various aspects of the healthcare system in Tennessee
  • Assist with writing grant applications for new funding opportunities
  • Training will be made available for responsibilities undertaken


Each fellow will receive a base salary of $35,000 with state of Tennessee benefits.


Graduation from an accredited Bachelor’s or Master’s program in public health or health-related field within the last twelve (12) months and prior to the start of the Fellowship (January 2022).

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should complete an application here: The application due date is October 31, 2021. Please be sure to select your preferred home office, upload the required documentation, and input the information of your intended references on the application. Recommendation letters should be emailed from the reference directly to with Commissioner’s Fellowship and the applicant's name in the subject line prior to the due date. 

Application materials will include the following:

  • Completed application (through above link), with upload requirements as listed below:
    • Essay (1500 words maximum) outlining interests, strengths, and qualifications. Applicants should also be able to articulate how this fellowship will benefit their long-term career plans in public health.
    • Résumé or CV
    • Transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation; suggested sources include at least one academic and one non-academic reference, with the third reference being the applicant's choice

Please note that requested materials, including reference letters, must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered. Each application will be reviewed based on the listed criteria. Top scoring applicants will be asked to interview with appropriate staff members. Selected fellows must have completed their degree prior to the start date of the fellowship (January 2022).

Evaluation Criteria
Maximum Points
Quality of Essay and First-Round Interview Questions
Previous Experience

All questions should be directed to