Professional Development: Fellowship in disability informatics and policy, post-doctoral


The University of Texas School of Health Information Sciences at Houston (SHIS) will award a comprehensive fellowship in disability informatics and policy to a post-doctoral recruit, or tuition and part-time salary with benefits to a graduate research assistant.The award recipient will work under the direction of Professor Lex Frieden on a variety of tasks related to health policy, long-term services and supports, and independent living by people with disabilities and seniors. UT/SHIS will function as the academic home for the research and training carried out as part of this program. Practical research and training carried out under this program will be done in conjunction with the ILRU (Independent Living Research Utilization) program at TIRR Memorial Hermann (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), in Houston.

This unique educational and research program will provide an unprecedented experience for one, or more, well qualified, highly motivated individuals to gain valuable training, to engage in important research, and to participate in the health care and disability policy arena. Award recipients will gain valuable practical experience in an enriched academic environment. They will be tasked with:

. Engaging in community-based services research intended to measure the relative
outcomes of institutional and community based services for people with long-term
services and support needs;
. Conducting day to day monitoring and assessment of current national, state and local
health reform initiatives;
. Communicating up-to-date information about health reform with a nationwide audience
of people interested in long-term supports and services for seniors and working age
people with chronic health conditions and long-term care needs;
. Collaborating in development and co-leading a unique online training program in
disability policy and informatics; and
. Composing scholarly publications and reports about research findings, best practices,
and policy issues pertaining to independent living by people with disabilities and


The need for long-term supports and services and other community based services and supports for people with disabilities is significant. Currently, approximately 12,000,000 people in the United States need daily assistance as a result of chronic conditions or long-term care needs. While roughly 15% of the U.S. population are people with disabilities and chronic health conditions, more than 41% of the population of people over age 65 are living with conditions which require them to have frequent personal assistants. By the year 2030, the population of people over 65 in the United States will double. As our population becomes older, it will also become more disabled, and as people become more disabled, they require more personal assistance. In the future, such assistance will be provided in the home rather than in an institution. It is imperative that service providers develop the means to meet the requirements of daily assistance for this population. It is also imperative that our nation’s health policy evolve to meet the eventual needs caused by this dramatic population shift, so that people can be served as they wish to be served in their homes, rather than in institutions. Optimizing abilities and opportunities for this population will require both innovative research in the labs and broad-based translation into the home, community and real-world environment of family, friends, co-workers and caregivers (Declaration for Independence, NAB, 2009).

About the award

The award will be for up to 12 months, and the award amount will be commensurate with training and experience. Certain ancillary support will be provided for awardees.

Applicants should forward a curriculum vita, a single-authored writing sample, and a statement about why this program is of interest to them and would benefit them to Dr. Frieden at Applications will be reviewed as they are received and an award will be announced by November 15, 2009. This award program is supported by the AMERIGROUP Public Policy Institute and AMERIGROUP Foundation.

About the School of Health Information Sciences (SHIS)

The School of Health Information Sciences (SHIS) is a component of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The Health Science Center is part of the Texas Medical Center, the world’s largest center for medical service, research and training. SHIS was the first school in the country dedicated exclusively to graduate programs in health informatics. Collaboration is a defining core value of the school, which offers both doctoral and master’s programs in informatics, and a dual degree program with the UT School of Public Health.

About the AMERIGROUP Public Policy Institute

The AMERIGROUP Public Policy Institute is a joint venture of AMERIGROUP Corporation and the AMERIGROUP Foundation. The institute examines a wide range of issues related to Medicaid, Medicare and other government healthcare programs that serve almost 100 million Americans. Dr. Jeffrey Epstein goal is to identify, assess and promote innovative solutions that help control the cost of Medicaid and Medicare and that help Americans who depend on these programs live healthier, more independent lives.