About the Horseshoe Farm Fellowship

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About the Horseshoe Farm Fellowship

“Mankind does nothing save through initiatives on the part of inventors, great or small, and imitation by the rest of us. Individuals show the way, set the patterns. The rivalry of the patterns is the history of the world.”  —William James


Horseshoe Farm Fellows visiting Birmingham, Alabama

Increasingly, communities are recognizing the value of and receiving the benefits from social entrepreneurial efforts initiated by community based service leaders. Social entrepreneurial leadership “combines the passion of a social mission with business like discipline, innovation, and determination,” and often fills gaps where governmental or market based solutions have fallen short (J. Gregory Dees, “The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship”).

Launched in the summer of 2009, the Horseshoe Farm Fellowship is a pioneering attempt to rethink and provide a new model for how to prepare our most promising future community based service leaders in healthcare and education to lead effective grassroots community based efforts in their own communities once they have completed their education and training.

Students preparing for careers in healthcare or education, as well as other students with strong leadership potential, are invited to commit one year (13 months) to the Greensboro community and to the Horseshoe Farm Fellowship. Fellows are challenged to learn about and become engaged in the community as they are immersed in almost all phases and aspects of the development, management, and leadership of, and service in the programs of Project Horseshoe Farm. To further help prepare Fellows for leadership roles amid the complex systems they will likely face, Fellows are introduced through readings and discussions to topics including community involvement and engagement, management and leadership of non-profit organizations, an introduction to systems of care, healthcare law and ethics, healthcare economics, the structure and financing of the healthcare system, the history of American medicine, and health policy.

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Horseshoe Farm Fellows Garwen Chen, Josh Rim, and Ella Pownall-Gray take a bow after their “Evening of Classical Music” community performance.

Taken as a whole, the Fellowship is intended to provide a rich and textured experience that will help prepare some of our most promising future leaders of healthcare and education to provide leadership in service to their communities and potentially to develop innovative community based solutions to the problems facing the broader systems.

The one year residential Fellowship focuses on four broad areas:

Community involvement and engagement
The small size of Greensboro (population approximately 3,000) provides an excellent opportunity for Fellows to see and begin to understand the relations of different people and processes in a community. Fellows are encouraged to visit with and get to know local civic leaders and other members of the community. During their time in Greensboro, Fellows should be able to begin to appreciate local values and the contributions of different members of the community. They should also begin to see and feel their own role, impact, and responsibilities in the context of a community.

Direct service and support to others
Fellows have the privilege of working closely with and providing support to vulnerable members of the community, and from their experiences, gaining a deeper appreciation for the value of humanity in service and the important psychological and social factors that contribute to health and quality of life among vulnerable people.

Development, management, and leadership of a community based non-profit organization
Fellows are given the opportunity to gain valuable experience by learning about and being involved in nearly all facets of the development, management, and leadership of a small community based non-profit organization and its initiatives. The hope is to provide an introduction to knowledge and skills that will give Fellows greater confidence in pursuing broader leadership roles within organizations or in considering developing their own community based initiatives.

Health Care Systems Issues
Through readings and discussions, Fellows are introduced to and challenged to analyze and assess the forces and process acting within and upon health care systems. Readings include selections that give Fellows an introduction to:

population and public health
community health and the biopsychosocial model
health care law and ethics
health care economics
health care organizations
the structure and financing of health care systems
the history and evolution of the American health care system
current thinking about and possible future directions of health policy

*Note on Healthcare Focus – Health care touches and interacts with nearly every other realm of society, and many of the conflicts and tensions seen in the health care system parallel those seen in other parts of contemporary society. So though a significant portion of our readings and discussions will focus on health care systems, there should be value in these readings and discussions even to fellows who are interested in non-health care related fields.