In recognition of her expertise as a physician and work addressing health equity issues, Ann Sheehy, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine in the Department of Medicine, was named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow by The National Academy of Medicine for the class of 2021-22.

This fall, Sheehy will begin a year-long fellowship in Washington D.C. in which she will participate in the federal health policy process in congressional and executive branch offices and work on regulatory and legislative issues related to public health.

Ann Sheehy
Ann Sheehy

“I have always believed that clinicians should be engaged in health policy to improve care for our patients. This fellowship provides an amazing opportunity to combine my experience as a practicing physician and researcher at University of Wisconsin with real-life policy in Washington, D.C. The lessons I learn will make me better equipped to serve the people of Wisconsin when I return to UW,” Sheehy said.

In addition to her administrative and clinical roles, Sheehy conducts policy research on Medicare hospital outpatient (observation) status — specifically, how observation legislation and regulation may impact the most disadvantaged Medicare beneficiaries.

For example, because Medicare only covers post-discharge care in a skilled nursing facility for patients who were hospitalized as inpatients for three or more consecutive days, patients who were hospitalized in observation status are considered outpatients and thus ineligible for Medicare coverage of skilled-nursing care.

Sheehy’s experience and expertise in health care policy led her to provide testimony in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate on short-stay hospitalization issues in the Medicare program.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellows are chosen from a highly competitive field of health and behavioral/social science professionals who have interest in health policy. This fellowship offers exclusive, hands-on policy experience with key congressional and executive offices in Washington D.C.

“Dr. Sheehy’s work takes place at a critical intersection of medicine, health policy and health equity,” said Lynn M. Schnapp, MD, FACP, ATSF, chair, Department of Medicine.

“This fellowship is a remarkable opportunity for her to deepen her expertise and further excel as a health policy leader. I am so proud to support her and confident that she will continue to be a change maker at the national level,” she said.

“Dr. Sheehy is an outstanding leader with a well-deserved national reputation for her expertise in health policy and effective advocacy,” said Dean Robert N. Golden, MD. “We are proud and delighted that she has been selected for this highly competitive fellowship, and look forward to the additional experience she will bring home to our school and academic health system.”