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Launching a Career in Health Policy

Garrett Devenney

August 22, 2018

Beating a highly-competitive field of 70 students from universities around the country, Garrett Devenney, MPH '18, a Drexel University Dornsife School of Public Health student, studying in the school's department of Health Management and Policy, was awarded one of two 2018 David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowships.

"Winston Fellows are selected for their commitment to working in health policy along with demonstrating extraordinary potential to succeed and make a difference in a health policy career," said Glenna M. Crooks, PhD, a veteran health policy expert and board member at the David A. Winston Health Policy Fellowship.

"I am extremely thrilled and grateful to have been chosen as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow," Devenney said. "My policy interests include various components of Medicare and Medicaid, including financing, enrollment, and waivers, among others. I am also very passionate about vaccines and gun violence as public health issues, but I am trying to keep an open mind prior to my placement in the Fellowship."

Devenney explained that he originally had plans to become a physician, but eventually realized that "crafting acceptable, feasible, and culturally-relevant policy can be truly transformational for communities."

The structure of the Winston program will give him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see how health policies are shaped in communities of all types. For a 12-month, postgraduate term, Winston Fellows work through a rotation of at least three months during which they become engaged in a broad selection of organizations where health policy is developed at the national level.

They are also given a very rare opportunity to travel the nation to conduct informational interviews with 300 experts in health policy at the local level.

Devenney is now an intern at Merck within their Global Vaccine Policy Development team. There, he said, he is part of a group focused on "shaping the vaccine ecosystem through policy efforts at the state, federal, and international levels." This includes working with vaccine coalitions and advocates, writing policy briefs, and engaging with external stakeholders such as the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I love the work that I do and I am excited to take the lessons from this experience and apply them to the Fellowship," said Devenney, who was also a 2017 Winston Health Policy Scholar.