November 30, 2020

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Application Deadline Extended for CHCF Leadership Program


CHCF Leadership Program fellows gather inside the State Capitol in Sacramento during a three-day seminar in January 2020. Photo: Gina Lima

One of the foundation’s most successful and effective initiatives is the CHCF Health Care Leadership Program, which is organized and delivered by the Healthforce Center at UCSF. The two-year fellowship offers clinically trained health care professionals in California a transformational experience that will help them hone their leadership skills as they focus on improving health care for all Californians. More than 500 people have completed this program since it was created in 2001, and these alumni are part of a network that continues to collaborate, develop its skills, and support its members.

The deadline for application is normally in early June, but these are not normal times. We recognize the profound distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, its physical and psychological toll, and the resulting recession, along with the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others at the hands of police, and the protests to demand racial justice.

These events have significantly affected individuals and organizations, including those that might identify and encourage clinicians to apply for the Leadership Program. We recognize that these crises have left many of us feeling like we may not have the bandwidth to take on another challenge. We also heard from health care leaders and organizations that current circumstances have caused financial hardship that may prohibit participation.

In response to these concerns, CHCF and the Healthforce Center have decided to:

  • Extend the application deadline to August 31, 2020
  • Provide up to 100% tuition assistance to those working in the safety net for this cohort of the program

Because of the crises at hand, we believe that now may be the best time ever to participate in the Leadership Program. It will provide you with resources and strategies to help you be more effective in your job and  give you space to crowdsource ideas and solutions to pressing problems with your “fellow fellows” — health leaders from across California.

Dr. Efrain Talamantes offers a case in point. He is an executive physician at Southern California–based AltaMed Health Services, one of the nation’s largest Federally Qualified Health Centers. Talamantes was in the final months of his fellowship when the pandemic struck. “It has been an exceptionally difficult time,” he said. “However, the leadership skills I learned as a fellow have been profoundly useful to transform how we care for our patients. Most importantly, I have such trusted and close relationships with the other fellows in the program that I had a knowledgeable support network to turn to in better responding to this crisis.”

Application Details

The ability to pay is not a consideration in the selection process. Specific amounts for financial assistance will depend on the total number of requests and whether applicants fall into the additional priority areas for recruitment for this application cycle. These priority areas are:

  • Clinicians in Southern California
  • Safety-net providers
  • Black and Latino clinicians
  • Behavioral health clinicians

Overall, we seek diversity across disciplines, regions, racial and ethnic groups, and types of organizations.

Current events have highlighted the importance of investing in leadership. This crisis is exactly the right time to join with fellow colleagues who are committed to learning and sharpening the skills needed to lead effectively. If you’ve considered applying, I invite you to do so. If you know colleagues who would be strong candidates, please share this blog post with them.

Application materials are available from the Healthforce Center at UCSF.

Watch this short video to see interviews with current fellows conducted during a Leadership Program seminar held early this year in Sacramento.

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