Public Health Executive’s Fellowship

Applications are currently closed and will reopen in the Fall.


The Program

The Tennessee Department of Health's (TDH) Public Health Executive’s Fellowship is a prestigious career development and mentorship opportunity for recent graduates interested in public health. The program allows fellows to gain practical, hands-on experience addressing critical public health challenges with the support of an experienced team. Fellows also gain insightful exposure to the diversity and depth of work performed in a state health department. Along the way, fellows serve as core members of the TDH team. More than an internship or practicum, the length of the program and full-time nature of the experience allows fellows to perform more meaningful work that contributes directly to TDH’s mission and vision. Graduated fellows have gone on to successful careers within TDH and have been accepted to prestigious graduate programs.

The Position 

The Public Health Executive’s Fellowship is a one-year program that can be extended for a potential second year. During the first year, the fellow serves primarily in a home office, where the fellow will serve as a full-time team member alongside seasoned public health professionals. 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 have included a detailed history of TDH’s response to the opioid epidemic, literature reviews, and the development of resources and recommended practices for TDH programs. Previous fellows developed deliverables that were presented to the Governor and state legislature.

Fellows will choose to apply to a home office based on their individual career goals and interests. The home office will be the primary factor in determining the fellow’s responsibilities and projects. The fellow’s work plan is also tailored to support professional growth along the fellow’s desired career path. The Office of Strategic InitiativesDivision of Family Health and Wellness, and Office of Primary Prevention are the current home offices available. A description of each home office, along with examples of responsibilities, are located below.

Home Office Descriptions: 

Office of Strategic Initiatives

The purpose of the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) is to link and leverage TDH strategies and resources with local knowledge, energy, and leadership. We guide the department’s strategic planning process and support Tennessee’s County Health Councils with the help of local, regional, and central office TDH staff and TDH partners to implement upstream, innovative solutions to public health challenges. Our office also manages several key strategic and policy research initiatives for the commissioner. We do this through process facilitation, technical assistance, policy expertise and relationship-building. A fellowship with OSI is an opportunity to participate in a highly collaborative, equity-focused team. Professional experiences might range from health policy research to meeting facilitation to community resource development.

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, including dashboards, visualizations, and reporting systems
  • Assist with development of tools and resources that build capacity of County Health Councils to successfully complete their community health improvement process
  • 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

Office of Primary Prevention

The Office of Primary Prevention helps Tennessee communities build a culture of health through livable and nurturing places and spaces so everyone can reach their full potential. The office supports the department’s primary prevention work at the state, regional, and local levels, with a focus on policy, systems, and environmental changes that help create healthy and equitable communities. The office houses a strong program of built environment work, including managing grant programs, developing resources, and supporting the work of the department’s regional Healthy Development Coordinators. Also integral to the office’s mission is the clinic to community connection, working to engage the department’s clinicians in primary prevention initiatives.

Example Responsibilities:

  • Provide general support and guidance to help communities engage in policy, systems, and environmental change work to address the social drivers of health and health equity
  • Help support the Tennessee Livability Collaborative, a statewide “Health in All Policies” group facilitated by Office of Primary Prevention staff, assisting with meeting logistics and developing new cross-agency initiatives
  • Support data collaboration efforts between the health department and other state agencies or external partners
  • Support assessment and evaluation of primary prevention and built environment initiatives, participating in the design, implementation, analysis, application, and dissemination of evaluation findings
  • Prepare policy documents, prepare and deliver presentations, produce reports, and create webinars on emerging public health topics and initiatives


Each fellow will receive a base salary of $40,000 with state of Tennessee benefits. Information on the benefits available to state employees can be found here:


  • 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 (Summer 2022).
  • Ability to operate independently and confidently within a team setting
  • Be flexible, self-starting, and enthusiastic about learning new concepts
  • Proficiency with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is required

How to Apply:

Interested candidates should complete an application here: The application due date is April 15, 2022. 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 Fellowship Reference 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
  • Two letters of recommendation; at least one academic and one non-academic reference

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 (Summer 2022).

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

All questions should be directed to Joey King, Talent Management Director, at

This Page Last Updated: May 3, 2022 at 9:44 AM