ODPHP - Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion 

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)
Office of Public Health and Science
Office of the Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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The Luther Terry Fellowship

Luther L. Terry Senior Fellow serves as the Senior Clinical Advisor in the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), which is located within the Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The fellowship is two years in duration, and is open only to physicians with a Masters in Public Health or equivalent degree.


The Luther L. Terry Fellowship is designed to provide experience in a health policy setting and will benefit ODPHP by providing clinical research and technical expertise in order to support the Department's preventive service goals. This Fellowship provides a critical link between ODPHP and the medical community and offers a valuable experience for clinicians in health policy development and implementation. The fellow is selected by a committee composed of representatives from several academic medical associations and ODPHP. The combination of these associations and societies represents the academic disciplines that have a role in identifying the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to integrate preventive medicine with medical education and practice.

Luther Leonidas Terry, for whom the Fellowship is named, was Surgeon General of the Public Health Service from 1961 to 1965. During his tenure in this position, Terry established and chaired the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health, which produced the first Surgeon General's report on the relationship between smoking and health. The report, Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the Public Health Service, concluded that lung cancer and chronic bronchitis are causally related to cigarette smoking. This landmark Surgeon General's report on smoking and health stimulated increased concern about tobacco on the part of the American public and government policy makers, and led to a broad-based anti-smoking campaign. The report was also responsible for the passage of the Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965, which among other things, mandated the familiar Surgeon General's health warnings on cigarette packages. Terry's pioneering research on the health hazards of cigarette smoking serves as a model for the work of all Luther Terry Fellows at ODPHP. Similar to Terry, the Fellow uses his or her medical background to help influence disease prevention and health promotion policy on a national level.

Fellowship Description

Although specific projects for the Luther Terry Fellow depend on the activities within ODPHP during the Fellow's appointment, a description of the activities of past fellows will give an idea of the scope and breadth of the Fellow's work.

Previous Fellows have worked on such important issues as clinical preventive services guidelines, strategies for the incorporation of preventive services into practice, school health initiatives, and evaluation of the preventive practices of primary care providers. Fellows have also worked the HHS Initiative to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Health, the development of Healthy People 2010, the coordination of DHHS agencies on the pfiesteria investigation in Eastern coastal waterways, adult immunizations, and increasing the emphasis on disease prevention and health promotion in the medical school curriculum. The current Luther Terry Fellow is serving as a primary author on the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Address Overweight and Obesity, and is helping to plan and coordinate activities that will follow the report. Projects such as these have required the Fellow to develop policy papers for the Department, make presentations to interest groups and legislators, as well as develop briefing materials for the Secretary of HHS, the Assistant Secretary for Health and Surgeon General, and the White House. The Luther Terry Fellow may also be asked to serve as the point person on multi-federal agency collaborations for the HHS Office of Public Health and Science.

The Luther Terry Fellow also participates in the training of Preventive Medicine Residents, medical students, and public health interns as they rotate through the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP). This position allows the Fellow to serve as a mentor for students of public health and preventive medicine and provides the students with an opportunity to work with a leading physician in the field of disease prevention and health promotion.

The Luther Terry Fellowship provides an unparalleled opportunity for professional growth and development as a national figure in both prevention policy and medical education. The Luther Terry Fellowship is an excellent opportunity for a clinician to gain substantial health policy experience. The Fellow is engaged in policy development and decision making at the highest levels within the Department of Health and Human Services. The Fellow has frequent contact with the public health community and will gain substantial insight into the operations and interactions of its constituent members.

For information about applying to this fellowship program, visit http://www.aptrweb.org or contact the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research, Training Projects Assistant, 1660 L Street, NW, Suite 208, Washington, DC 20036; phone: (202) 463-0550; E-mail: info@aptrweb.org


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Updated April 17, 2008