Peace Corps Partnerships


Eric Pfeifer Tanzania
Current MHI student and Coverdell Fellow Eric Pfeifer (MHI ’17), right, worked in Tanzania for his Peace Corps service from 2011-2013.

The University of Michigan Master of Health Informatics program (MHI) and the U.S. Peace Corps have partnered to promote positive impact in the world, reduction of disparity, and improvement of the quality of life for all. As individuals, groups and populations navigate the complexities of information and health, our students will contribute health informatics skills to health challenges in developing regions. Through our Peace Corps partnership, students can apply their unique skills and knowledge to advance health through usable and responsive information technologies.

The field of health informatics needs leaders and change agents who have demonstrated potential in leadership and problem-solving, and the MHI program seeks students who wish to do this work in a commitment to global service.

"After completing my service as a health educator in Tanzania, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in public health. Michigan’s Health Informatics program offered the technical skills that many other programs lacked. These skills paired with unique social entrepreneurship experiences like Innovation in Action and Innovation Trek have allowed me to think more deeply about how to leverage technology to enact the changes I want to see in healthcare." -- Eric Pfeifer, RPCV Tanzania 2011-2013

These values align closely with Peace Corps volunteer principles and the organization’s mission of working at grassroots levels in order to enact sustainable change and address the most pressing needs of people around the world. Two paths allow students to combine a Health Informatics graduate education with Peace Corps service:

Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program offers financial support to those who have served in the Peace Corps prior to enrolling in the MHI program. Returned Peace Corps Volunteers will use the skills they developed abroad to complete internships in underserved U.S. communities gaining valuable professional experience.

Masters at Michigan Program
Masters at Michigan is an internationally focused program in which students complete their first year of the MHI program, use that knowledge while completing volunteer service in the Peace Corps, and then return to Michigan to complete their degree. Masters at Michigan participants work abroad as Peace Corps volunteers for 27 months and gain hands-on, real world experience, as well as language, cross-cultural, and technical training. Masters at Michigan in the MHI program fulfill their internship requirement through the completion of Peace Corps service, in addition to financial support.

Click to view the news release announcing the partnership between the Peace Corps and MHI.