Bernstein Fellows

The Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows Program prepares emerging health leaders to work in and improve the health of rural and under-served communities in North Carolina.Jim-Bernstein

The purpose of the Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows Program is to develop future leaders to work in, and improve the health status of, rural and under-served communities in North Carolina. The Bernstein Fellows Program identifies and supports the work of outstanding individuals already working in health services in these areas and share Jim’s commitment and passion for rural health.

When selected, Bernstein Fellows receive:

  • Educational opportunities and individual mentoring through a network of professionals associated with FHLI.
  • Up to two years of funding to support a project they develop that will improve the health of their community.

After the two-year fellowship, Bernstein Fellows will not only have a clear understanding of rural and underserved community needs, but will have the leadership skills necessary to engage and collaborate with others to improve the health and economic state of these communities.

Program Contacts:
Carla Obiol, 919.821.0485
Hugh Tilson, 919.966.2461


  • Continue to develop project ideas
  • January 23- 24 – Public Health Leaders’ Conference, North Raleigh Hilton, 3415 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh  


  • Continue to develop project ideas
  • February 7 – NC Rural Health Leadership Alliance (NCRHLA) meeting, 10-1, NC Medical Society, Raleigh, NC 
  • February 10 – ReConnect to Technological Opportunity, Institute for Emerging Issues, Raleigh
  • February 20-21 – NC Healthcare Association Membership Meeting, Downtown Marriott, Raleigh
  • February 28 – 41st Annual Minority Health Conference, William and Ida Friday Center, 100 Friday Center Drive, Chapel Hill


  • Present brief draft (i.e., one or two paragraphs) about project *
  • March 26-27 – Educational Programming with Rural Center, NC Rural Center, 4028 Carya Drive, Raleigh (Plan for 1.5 days of training) *


  • April 8-10 – North Carolina Community Health Center Assocation’s Clinical Conference on Quality and Chronic Disease, Durham, NC


  • May 15 – NCRHLA meeting, 10-1, NC Medical Society, Raleigh 
  • May 19-22 – National Rural Health Association, Annual Rural Health Conference, San Diego, California


  • June 10-12 – North Carolina Primary Care Conference, Wilmington, NC
  • June 22-25 – Leader Immersion Training and Cherokee Hospital Tour, Sylva, NC *

July & August

  • August 14 – NCRHLA meeting, 10-1, NC Medical Society, Raleigh


  • Dates TBD – NC Rural Assembly, Raleigh


  • October 8-9 – Bernstein Dinner and Alumni Reception, Fellows Training, McKimmon Center, Raleigh *
  • Two-page Summary of Project Due *


  • November 13 – NCRHLA meeting, 10-1, NC Medical Society, Raleigh


  • TBD
* Items listed in red are specific to the Bernstein program.
* Items in red with an asterisk indicate mandatory participation.

Meet the extensive line-up of health care advocates and Bernstein Alumnae who have made a difference in their North Carolina communities through their participation in the Bernstein Fellows program.

Jim Bernstein, FHLI’s founder and first president, dedicated his life and work to improving health care in rural communities across North Carolina. An innovator and a motivator, he served as a role model to others in how to address some of the most difficult rural health care challenges. Throughout his career, Jim accomplished a great deal, but he knew that new challenges in rural health would continue to emerge as time went on. Knowing this, Jim made a point of preparing the next generation of rural health leaders to meet these challenges. The Jim Bernstein Community Health Leadership Fellows Program was founded in 2006 to honor Jim’s legacy of developing future leaders.