Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy

Established in 2004, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy is named in honor of Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson, pioneers in community health practice and tireless advocates for civil and human rights. Over 50 years ago, Geiger and Gibson founded the nation's first community health centers in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and Boston, Massachusetts; by 2018, more than 1,400 health centers, operating in over 11,000 locations, served over 27 million residents of urban and rural medically underserved communities across the nation.

Located within the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, and part of its Department of Health Policy and Management, the Geiger Gibson Program shares the core mission of the community health centers program: to eliminate medical underserviced and disparities in population health and health care and improve health and health care for all persons. The Program was founded with generous gifts from the National Association of Community Health Centers and health centers and primary care associations around the nation. Today the program is supported through many sources: continuing gifts from health centers and state and regional primary care associations representing health centers throughout the nation; research grants from both government and leading foundations such as the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund;  and a major ongoing gift from the RCHN Community Health Foundation, which supports the work of the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative.

Health Policy Fellows Program

Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program

The Health Policy Fellows Program (previously the Geiger Gibson Capstone Program) is offered in partnership with the National Association of Community Health Center's Leadership Development Institutes. The online-based program, preceded by asynchronous content, is designed to meet the professional needs of mid-level and senior staff pursuing executive leadership careers in community health centers, primary care associations, and health center-controlled networks.  The Fellowship is offered once a year.

This Fellowship Program is designed to enable health center, PCA, and HCCN staff to develop a deeper understanding of health policy and acquire key health policy analysis skills of value to their own organization’s policy advocacy efforts.

Participation in the Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program costs $750. 

The Geiger Gibson Health Policy Fellows Program expects payment for the program fee in full at the time of invitation into a cohort of the Program. We are now accepting credit card payments through our online payment system available here.

In limited circumstances, we may be able to accommodate a cancellation or rescheduling to another cohort. If a Fellow needs to cancel and the date is at least 30 days prior to the start of the scheduled cohort, full reimbursement of the program fee is allowed. If a Fellow needs to cancel 30 days or fewer prior to the start of the scheduled cohort, reimbursement will be limited to 90% of the program fee. If a Fellow prefers instead to reschedule for a future cohort, we will accommodate you as long as we have room and no money will be reimbursed. If a Fellow needs to cancel or reschedule for any reason, please contact to discuss this at your earliest convenience.

Read more about and apply for the Fellowship here

See what our Fellows are saying:


Distinguished Visitor Program

The Geiger Gibson Distinguished Visitor program provides an opportunity for health center and primary care association leaders to visit the Department of Health Policy and Management and to share their work with students, faculty, and staff. Visitors may serve as guest lecturers, student advisors, and mentors. The Distinguished Visitors program typically takes place in the fall semester, and Visitors serve as ongoing advisors to the program.

Our 2020 Distinguished Visitor is Michael Taylor of Cornell Scott-Hill Health Center (Connecticut). 

Past visitors include the following:

2019 – Mr. John Silva, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, Inc. (Massachusetts) and Mr. Dan Hawkins, National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)

2018 – Mr. Greg Nycz, Family Health Center of Marshfield, Inc. (Wisconsin)

2017 – Ms. Anita Monoian, Yakima Neighborhood Health Services (Washington State)

2016 – Ms. Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, Urban Health Plan, Inc. (New York)

2015 – Mr. E. Benjamin Money, Jr., North Carolina Community Health Center Association (North Carolina)

2014 – Mr. Dan Driscoll, Harbor Health (Massachusetts)

2013 – Ms. Tess Stack Kuenning, Bi-State Primary Care Association (Vermont and New Hampshire)

2012 – Ms. Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, Community Health Development, Inc. (Texas)

2011 – Dr. Neil Calman, Urban Health Institute (New York)

2010 – Dr. Merle Cunningham, formerly of Sunset Park Neighborhood Health Center (Center)

2009 – Ms. Velma Hendershott, InterCare Community Health Network (Michigan)

2008 – Ms. Ann Hathaway Peters, formerly of Lamprey Health Care (New Hampshire)

2007 – Dr. Patricia Gabow, formerly of Denver Health (Colorado)

2006 – Ms. Anne Kauffman Nolon, Peekskill Community Health Center (New York)

2005 – Dr. David Reynolds, formerly of Northern Counties Health Center (Vermont)

2004 – Dr. James Hunt, Mass League of Community Health Centers (Massachusetts)

Emerging Leader Award

Each year, the Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy honors young Emerging Leaders working at community and farmworker health centers, including health centers whose operations cover health care for the homeless or public housing programs, health center networks, and state or regional primary care associations. Emerging Leaders are nominated by their community health centers, health center networks, or primary care associations nationally and selected by a committee drawn from the Geiger Gibson Distinguished Visitor Program. Those selected for the award are recognized at NACHC's annual Policy & Issues Forum, held in Washington, D.C.

"Our Emerging Leaders reflect the enormous range of talented young people who have made a career in the health center family and personify the enduring strength of health centers," said Sara Rosenbaum, JD, the Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy, Milken Institute School of Public Health, and founder of the Geiger Gibson Program.

Feygele Jacobs, President, and CEO of the RCHN Community Health Foundation, whose ongoing gift supports the Geiger Gibson Program, added, "the Emerging Leaders selected each year represent the future of health centers. The policy and program advocates, clinicians, health educators, and clinic administrators recognized each year truly will become the next generation of senior leaders."

Update: We are now accepting nominations for the 2022 Emerging Leader Award. We invite you to submit nominations here. Nominations will be accepted through Monday, November 22, 2021.


Eligibility Requirements and Award Selection Criteria

Eligibility Requirements:

To be eligible for the Emerging Leader award, the nominee must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Is currently working at a community or farmworker health center, PCA or HCCN;
  • Has worked at the health center, PCA, or HCCN for at least one year;
  • Is not older than 35; and
  • Is not the Executive Director/CEO of the organization

Award Criteria:

The Emerging Leader Award is designed to highlight and share the accomplishments of exceptional young members of the health center, PCA, and HCCN community. The award celebrates young leaders whose specific work has helped further the health center mission of health care and better health for medically underserved patients, communities, and special populations. We welcome nominations of staff in all positions, roles, and disciplines across the organization. The program considers the full range of health center/network/PCA activities, operations, and candidate accomplishments, with particular emphasis on the following criteria:

  • The nominee’s work accomplishments do not simply fulfill their responsibilities, but go above and beyond what is expected, evidencing their leadership capabilities;
  • The nominee has lived experience that is reflective of the populations and communities served by the organization;
  • The nominee’s efforts are useful to and transferable to other health centers and help advance the overall status of health centers within the health care system;
  • The nominee recognizes and demonstrates the “community” aspect of “community health center” through engagement and collaboration with other organizations and community members;
  • The nominee has displayed a sense of personal motivation by advancing within their organization in a short time and/or pursuing educational opportunities in a related field. 

Contact: Please contact the Geiger Gibson Program at with any questions.


The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy is named after two pioneers in the early community health center movement, Drs. H. Jack Geiger and Count Gibson.

Dr. H. Jack Geiger

Dr. H. Jack Geiger is a pioneer of the community health center movement in the United States. In his fourth year of medical school, Geiger received a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation to study the community health center movement in South Africa. Impressed by the health center system he saw in South Africa, Geiger translated what he learned there to the American healthcare system. After tireless efforts to fund his vision, Geiger secured $1.2 million from the newly formed Office of Economic Opportunity to open the Columbia Point Health Center in December 1965. The following year, Geiger worked with U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy to amend the Economic Opportunity Act, adding a fund for a national network of health centers. The scope of Geiger’s work in low-income communities went beyond providing healthcare. Geiger believed in the importance of addressing the social determinants of health. In the communities he worked in, Geiger increased access to clean water, proper nutrition, employment opportunities, and safe housing. Today, there are more than 1,200 health centers that serve over 27 million Americans.

To learn more about Dr. Geiger, click here.


Dr. Count Gibson

Dr. Count Gibson was a social justice activist and pioneer of early health centers. At the beginning of Geiger’s search for community health center funding, Gibson was the Professor and Chair of the Tufts University Department of Preventive Medicine. Gibson was instrumental in convincing Tufts University to sponsor community health centers. Additionally, Gibson proved to be a vital asset in fundraising efforts. Being born and raised in the deep south, Gibson knew how to successfully pitch community-based health programs to southern conservative lawmakers. Gibson worked to bring community health centers to rural areas, such as the Mississippi Delta and the San Joaquin Valley. Gibson’s career in health care spanned across many facets, from serving as a delegate to the White House to being one of the first physicians to speak out against the Tuskegee study.

To learn more about Dr. Count Gibson, click here.


The Geiger Gibson Program would like to thank our donors:

Webinar Series


Join us for the Geiger Gibson Fall Health Policy Webinar Series

This 4-part webinar series will provide health policy updates from policy experts in Washington, DC, and clinical experts across the country. The webinar series is intended for your health center and primary care association clinicians, administrators, and staff. Topics include:

The End of the Public Health Emergency: The Start of New Challenges?

September 21, 2021 (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST)

  • Jennifer Tolbert, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Rachel Gonzales-Hanson, National Association of Community Health Center
  • Bruce Gray, Northwest Regional Primary Care Association
  • Michael Taylor, Cornell Scott - Hill Health Center

Home and Community Based Services: Current Policy and Community Health Centers' Role

October 5, 2021 (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST)

  • Katherine Hayes, Bipartisan Policy Center
  • Stuart Portman, Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff
  • Manny Lopes, East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

The American Rescue Plan and the American Families Plan: What Comes Next for Community Health Centers and Medically Underserved People?

October 26, 2021 (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST)

  • Jennifer Tolbert, Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Stuart Portman, Senate Finance Committee Minority Staff
  • Jana Eubank, Texas Association of Community Health Center
  • Joe Pierle, Missouri Primary Care Association

Community Health Centers and Current Issues in Reproductive Health

November 9, 2021 (12:00 pm to 1:00 pm EST)

  • Dr. Warria Esmond, Settlement Health
  • Gretchen Borchelt, National Women's Law Center

CME/CNE Credits Available

CME or CNE credits are available to program participants for an additional fee of $25 per person for the full series. 


To purchase this webinar series for your organization, click here. For CME/CNE Credit: Please use the Continuing Education Credit Add-On at the registration link to secure CME/CNE credits for each eligible participant. 

Webinar requirements and payment policy:

Webinar Payment Policy

This webinar is part of a series of policy discussions that complement one another. As such, partial charges or refunds will not be allowed. A registrant will only be allowed to request a full refund before the start of the series. To request a refund, please email the Geiger Gibson Program at
Webinar Participation Requirements
Each event from the series will be recorded and emailed to program participants at the conclusion of the series. In order to fully benefit from the discussion, please make sure to have stable access to WiFi and a device that supports webinar platforms such as Webex or Zoom.

Our Research

We invite you to read our latest research available at the following sites:

GW Health Policy & Management Matters

The GW Health Policy Matters website presents timely information about current health policy based on the work of our world-class faculty and important federal and state reports to help ensure the best possible future for U.S. healthcare.

Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative

The Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative is a unique, comprehensive, multi-faceted academic and research initiative focused on community health centers. The Collaborative’s academic home is the Department of Health Policy and Management at Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University.


The Geiger Gibson Program is home to the following activities:​

  • Masters and doctoral-level coursework, training, and graduate student research assistantships in policy issues and research methods related to the measurement and remediation of medical underservice and health disparities and the advancement of equal justice in health and health care;
  • A rich research agenda, as well as  an ongoing policy brief series from the Geiger Gibson/RCHN Community Health Foundation Research Collaborative on critical health policy issues affecting health centers and medically underserved populations and civil rights policy and practices;
  • A Distinguished Visitorship program for health center and primary care association leaders; Advanced policy training for health center and PCA staff in collaboration with the National Association of Community Health Centers and state and regional primary care associations;
  • The annual Geiger Gibson Symposium in Health Policy part of the National Association of  Community Health Centers’ annual winter policy meeting; and
  • The Emerging Leaders program, which honors young leaders from across the country, nominated by health centers and primary care associations each year, and recognized at the National Association of Community Health Center’s annual winter policy meeting.


Sara Rosenbaum, JD
Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy

J. Zoë Beckerman, JD, MPH
Teaching Associate Professor and Academic Program Director of the Geiger Gibson Program

Peter Shin, PhD, MPH
Associate Professor and GG/RCHN Research Collaborative Director

Leighton Ku, PhD, MPH
Professor and Director of the GW Center for Health Policy Research


Maria Casoni, MPH
Assistant Program Director of the Geiger Gibson Program

Jessica Sharac, PhD, MSc, MPH
Assistant Research Director of the Geiger Gibson Program


The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy

2175 K Street NW, Suite 500
Washington, DC 20037

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