Melanie Raffoul, M.D., the chief resident of the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine Family Medicine Residency Program, is one of two people nationwide who have been selected for the 2014-15 Robert L. Phillips Jr. Health Policy Fellowship, a joint research and clinical fellowship program between the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Family Medicine and Primary Care and Georgetown University.
The one-year, full-time program combines experiences in scholarly research and clinical practice. Located in Washington, D.C., Raffoul will complete master’s course work in public policy at Georgetown University while engaging in collaborative research with the Graham Center. She also will teach and work clinically in an urban community health center. “The prospect of working in the Washington, D.C., area and developing as a faculty member while still being given the opportunity to learn is exciting,” she said.
She earned her medical degree from the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine in 2011. She spent two months abroad during her residency working in a medical setting in Beirut, Lebanon, a Palestinian refugee camp and in clinics serving underserved individuals.
Physicians like Raffoul are the future leaders in the development and promotion of primary care health policy, said Andrew Bazemore, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Graham Center, which is an independent research unit working under the personnel and financial policies of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “We were very impressed with Melanie’s history of leadership, active interest in health policy and global and multicultural perspective and experience,” Bazemore said.
Raffoul has been very active in shaping policy at the state level. She is a member of the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Legislation and Advocacy Commission. She has worked on educational forums discussing health care policy. As a commission member, she meets quarterly with lobbyists, discussing family medicine issues in policy.
Therese Zink, M.D., M.P.H., chair and professor of the Boonshoft School of Medicine Department of Family Medicine, praised Raffoul’s commitment to a family medicine and health care policy. "The Robert L. Phillips Jr. Health Policy Fellowship will provide her with a unique opportunity to perform health policy-oriented research in Washington, D.C.,and interact with federal policymakers," she said.