Summer 2021 Fellows: Rachel Kim, ‘22 (Public Policy) and Isabel Wang, ‘21 (Symbolic Systems and Human Biology)

Office Description

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is currently seeking student interns. ASPE serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of HHS on policy development and is responsible for major activities in the areas of policy coordination, legislative development, strategic planning, policy research, evaluation and economic analysis. Students will gain experience in a fast-paced work environment, contribute to the production of analytic papers and be exposed to a wide breadth of health policy.

The Office of Health Policy is comprised of four divisions: Health Care Financing, Health Care Access and Coverage, Public Health Services, and Health Care Quality and Outcomes. Topics include prescription drug pricing, financing, affordability, and access; health care payment and delivery system reform; individual and small group insurance markets; patient-centered outcomes research, health information technology, the health care safety net, and vulnerable populations.

Potential Projects

Interns may be tasked with working in collaboration with fellow staff on research projects of interest to the Office of Health Policy with the opportunity to present their findings to the Office. Interns may also be asked to help staff various initiatives that may not directly involve research, but that advance important policy objectives. In addition to these core responsibilities, ASPE brings together interns for brown bag lunches with key leaders and occasional outings in Washington. Many external organizations also hold lunch briefings and day-long meetings, which interns are encouraged to attend.

Position Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Work with a team to develop and execute policy research
  • Collaborate with multiple HHS agencies, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Help respond to requests from ASPE and Departmental leadership for policy analysis and information on a variety of healthcare topics and initiatives
  • Conduct analyses with federal and public data sources
  • Present research findings at one or more staff meetings

Desired Skills

  • Strong communication skills, both written and oral
  • A highly motivated analytical thinker with research skills, quantitative and/or qualitative
  • Interest in connecting and translating research into policy

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