Ebbin Dotson's Dream Job
Since its founding in 1986, the U-M SPH Summer Enrichment Program in Health Management and Policy has welcomed more than 600 undergraduates. One of those is Ebbin Dotson, who, after completing an SEP internship, went on to get an MHSA degree from SPH and a PhD in health services and policy analysis from the University of California, Berkeley. This year, Dotson, PhD, MHSA '01, returned to SPH to take the reins of SEP, a program that has profoundly influenced his values and career choices.
Dotson's predecessor on the job, SPH Professor Richard Lichtenstein, the S.J. Axelrod Collegiate Professor of Health Management and Policy, founded SEP with the aim of identifying and training future leaders of health care organizations who would strive to eliminate health inequalities. Like other SEP participants, Dotson is committed to eliminating racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health inequalities. As the program's new faculty director—a position he describes as the "icing on the cake" for his "dream job—he hopes to "make an impact not only on students but on the solution to health disparities."
His main goal is to enhance the best aspects of SEP rather than make major changes. "If there's a problem to have with an already excellent program," he says, "it's how can we make it better?" One enhancement will be to create a more formalized way to connect students with opportunities that can advance their education and careers. Dotson wants to implement an official system for opening doors to students. He also wants to increase the program's focus on retention, and strengthen the bridges that lead students from SEP to graduate school. Above all, Dotson says, he is fully committed to the theme of changing the face of health care leadership.