Jaime Jennings AcademyHealth Presidential ScholarJ'Aime Jennings AcademyHealth Presidential ScholarJ’Aime Jennings, MPA, a doctoral candidate in the UAB Doctoral Program in Administration-Health Services Doctor of Philosophy program, is one of only five students in the United States to earn the Presidential Scholarship for the AcademyHealth Institute on Advocacy and Public Policy.

This scholarship provides students identified as early career producers and users of health services research with an interest in advocacy and policy with financial support to attend the 2015 National Health Policy Conference. During the NHPC, the Presidential Scholars have a unique opportunity to interact with influential policy and thought leaders in health services research.

“I welcome this opportunity to discover how I can contribute to improving our public health system infrastructure at the national level,” said Jennings who is scheduled to graduate in April 2015. “I am truly honored to have been selected by AcademyHealth as a Presidential Scholar at such an early stage in my career.”

Jennings, a Savannah, Georgia native, aspires to be a faculty member at a research-focused institution. Her core research interest is the integration of public health and healthcare through partnerships and other collaborative relationships for the betterment of the community at large.

“I strongly believe that improving our nation’s healthcare system begins with placing greater emphasis on the public health system,” said Jennings. “My ultimate goal is to remain a consistent contributor to the scholarly health management literature and an advocate for policy changes that promote the provision of quality healthcare to all communities throughout the U.S.”

Said AcademyHealth President and CEO Dr. Lisa Simpson, “As we seek to improve the evidence base in policy and, ultimately, improve health and health care in this country, we need vocal, compelling advocates making the case for health services research in the broader policy debate, and I am certain this group can help us do just that.”

Jennings and the other Presidential Scholars will participate in a “Hill Day” with congressional staff members where they will gain insight into advocating for their field. The NHPC, now in its 15th year, will be held February 9 – 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.