COPC Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship


The Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC) Primary Care Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Fellowship is a 12-month post-graduate program committed to preparing new graduate Advanced Practice Nurses (Nurse Practitioners (NPs)) and Physician Assistants (PAs) as well as APPs wishing to switch specialties. The fellowship will enhance the knowledge needed to transition into successful, well-rounded providers in primary care with a focus on the growing geriatric population. At the end of the fellowship year, fellows will have developed competencies and confidence in a variety of domains that are critical for APPs to successfully transition to practice.

Program Mission

The COPC APP Fellowship mission is to ensure that all APP fellows develop the skills necessary to practice in a highly collaborative, interprofessional primary care setting and to deliver patient-centered care that improves overall health outcomes.

This post-graduate transition to practice program will provide APP fellows with a variety of clinical experiences through autonomous and precepted practice, specialty rotations, tailored didactics, and hands-on skills labs. The program will build on the APP’s graduate academic training by providing support in the development of key skills of practice including assessment of clinically complex patients, evidence-based decision making, patient safety and compassionate patient and family centered care. In addition, the fellowship includes components focused on leadership development and value-based care education aimed at developing strong clinical leaders with the ability to adapt, while continuing to deliver excellent patient care in the ever-changing health care system. Specifically, the value-based care curriculum will aid fellows in better understanding the importance of risk-based payment arrangements and the impact of quality and cost of care. Fellows will work together to analyze data and identify gaps in care while proactively developing solutions to improve quality and reduce total cost of care.

Program Overview

The COPC APP Fellowship prepares the APPs to become a versatile provider, leader and asset to the primary care team. Throughout the program, fellows will have the opportunity to rotate through core and supplemental rotations aimed at expanding knowledge and improving patient outcomes. Weekly didactics, synchronous Q&A discussions, hands-on skills labs and journal clubs will help fellows to hone their clinical knowledge. Precepted practice will help to build fellows’ confidence by allowing them to apply techniques of practice in a supported clinical setting. Fellows will also engage in leadership development activities including developing a quality improvement project. Additionally, this unique fellowship will include training in essential components to optimize patient outcomes including value-based care, quality measures, and population health. Each graduate from the program will come away with indispensable experience and knowledge and be equipped with the skills needed to confidently deliver exceptional patient care.

Goals of the Fellowship

  • Promote mastery of diverse clinical competencies and skills of practice to best prepare APP fellows for autonomous and collaborative practice in the primary care setting.
  • Increase APP fellows’ knowledge of evidenced-based practice techniques, research methods, guideline development and quality improvement initiatives, designed to improve patient care outcomes within COPC.
  • Facilitate fellow exposure to a variety of clinical practice settings and styles with diverse patient populations that includes a focus on the growing geriatric population.
  • Develop the fellow’s individual practice style through exposure to a variety of clinical settings, mentorship by experienced APPs, and continuous feedback from physician preceptors.
  • Strengthen APP fellows’ resiliency in practice, by providing them the tools and training necessary to identify and manage burnout.

Program Structure

Core Didactic Curriculum

The fellowship didactic curriculum includes robust topics in clinical competencies and skills taught by primary care and specialty care experts. The curriculum additionally includes important topics that support the overall mission of modern health care, which aims to improve the quality and accessibility of care. This includes modules on population health, value-based care, and leadership development. Fellows will complete an intake assessment upon acceptance to the program measuring their clinical competencies and past educational experiences. Based on the assessment findings, some fellows may be required to participate in additional didactics or learning opportunities to further develop their knowledge and expertise.

Subject Matter Expert Q&A

Fellows will have the opportunity to engage with subject matter experts on a variety of topics relating to their program didactics. During bi-weekly virtual or in-person sessions, fellows will have the opportunity to ask questions of medical experts and join in on group discussions augmenting lecture materials.

Autonomous and Precepted Practice

Throughout the APP Fellowship Program, fellows will have autonomous and precepted practice within their assigned primary care offices. It is the overarching goal of the fellowship to prepare APPs for confident autonomous practice. Fellows will build this confidence by gradually transitioning from precepted to autonomous practice in a stepwise approach fostering the development of individualized practice and patient-care skills with continuous feedback from experienced providers.

Skills Labs

Fellows will take part in a 3-day comprehensive procedure lab taught by experienced providers. Fellows will come together as a cohort to train on key skills and common procedures related to women’s health, orthopedics, wound care, ophthalmology, dermatology, podiatry and more.

Skills taught include but are not limited to:

  • Laceration repair
  • Incision and Drainage
  • Simple biopsy
  • Foreign body removal
  • Long-term birth control insertion and removal
  • Orthopedic therapeutics

Specialty Rotations

The COPC APP Fellowship Program provides the opportunity for fellows to rotate in specialty clinics providing exposure to complex disease processes often co-managed within the primary care setting. Fellows will have the opportunity to complete rotations in a variety of supplemental rotations.

Example rotations:

  • Endocrinology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neurology
  • Psychology
  • Geriatrics
  • Nephrology
  • Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose, and Throat [ENT])
  • Pulmonology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Urology
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Orthopedics
  • Rheumatology

Quality Improvement Project

To complement the core didactics, fellows will complete a quality improvement project. Prior to completion of the program, fellows will give a presentation on an improvement opportunity they identified, their analysis, and their proposed solution. This project encourages fellows to become leaders in quality-of-care initiatives and learn to improve patient care outcomes in their practice and throughout their careers.

Journal Club

Throughout the fellowship program, fellows will engage in journal clubs to enhance skills in utilizing evidenced-based resources and leadership within their practice.

How to Apply


COPC will be offering two APP Fellow cohorts in the 2024 calendar year – Spring and Fall. Please see below for details on the timeline for each cohort.

Applications will be reviewed by the COPC APP Fellowship Operations team once complete. Candidates selected to move forward to the interview process will be notified via email for scheduling. Note that the number of fellows accepted into the APP Fellowship shall be determined solely by COPC.


  • Completion of an accredited Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant program
  • Hold National Board Certification as a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant
  • Have current Ohio State Licensure as a Nurse Practitioner or Physician Assistant or be able to demonstrate a timeline for licensure suitable for credentialing with COPC prior to fellowship start date

Application Requirements

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Two Essay Questions
  • Official APP Program Transcript that shows completion of degree conferred or will be completed before the start of the fellowship program
  • Two Letters of Recommendation/References – should include one academic and one professional reference

Spring 2024 COPC APP Fellowship Timeline

No longer accepting applications
January 8, 2024 – Preferred Applications
January 15-19, 2024 – Interviews
February 1, 2024 – Official offers
February 8, 2024 – All contracts signed and position accepted
April 2024 – Start date

Applications closed for the Spring 2024

*Credentialing requires state licensure. If you are a new graduate, it is recommended that you sit for your boards as soon as possible following graduation from your program to ensure matriculation and to expedite the credentialing process.

If you apply and are not accepted off the waitlist into the Spring 2024 cohort, you may request to be included on the waitlist for the Fall 2024 cohort.

Interview Selection Timeline

You will be contacted within 7 business days of submitting your completed application. You may be asked to interview later the same week, if selected to move forward.

Apply Here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When does the application period open each year?
The application for the Spring 2024 cohort (003) will open December 8th, 2023. The application for the Fall 2024 cohort (004) will open January 29th, 2024. Check the website for specific dates.
2. Do you accept late submissions?
Applications submitted after the deadline will be accepted for the APP Fellowship Program; however, we cannot guarantee consideration. Completing the application on time is highly advised and increases your chances for consideration.
3. Do you accept fellows who are not board certified?
No, fellows will need to be board certified for licensure in the state of Ohio prior to fellowship start date.
4. Will I need my Ohio license to apply?
Incoming fellows must be fully licensed to practice in the state of Ohio prior to the interview date. There are exceptions for newly graduated APPs who are currently in the process of licensure that can demonstrate a timeline for licensure suitable for credentialing with COPC prior to fellowship matriculation.
5. How long is the duration of the APP Fellowship Program?
The APP Fellowship Program is 12 months.
6. How long does the credentialing process take if accepted into the program?
Credentialing can take anywhere from 90-120 days.
7. Post-Fellowship completion, will all fellows be directly employed to COPC?
One of the goals of the APP Fellowship Program is to improve the attrition rate among PAs and APNs on staff at COPC. While fellows will need to interview for a position after completion of the fellowship, they will be viewed as highly competitive candidates.
8. Is this a paid fellowship?
Yes. The COPC APP Fellowship program is a full-time, benefit eligible position.
9. What is the process for waitlisted candidates?
The fellowship team will keep in communication with waitlisted candidates. Candidates can request to be removed from the waitlist at any time. Waitlisted candidates will either be extended an offer to join the class or informed of their release from the waitlist at the latest one month prior to the fellowship start date.
10. I am a pediatric APP, am I eligible for this fellowship?
The current focus of the primary care fellowship is on the aging population. Pediatric trained PAs may be considered if they intend to transition to adult care. A Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care (CPNP-PC) does not have the training required to matriculate in an adult focused fellowship.

Helen Leahy, CNP

Helen Leahy is a Certified Nurse Practitioner (CNP) currently practicing in the state of Ohio. Helen earned her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska and has been seeing patients as a hospitalist since 2009. In addition, she has helped establish an inpatient fellowship within COPC and has recently assumed responsibility for certain outpatient roles within the primary care setting. Currently Helen serves as the Director of Advanced Practice Providers - Central Ohio Primary Care Hospitalists and the Program Director for the COPC APP Primary Care Fellowship Program.

Open Letter from Helen Leahy, CNP, Director COPC APP Primary Care Fellowship Program:

“We at COPC are excited about our continued growth and elevation of APPs within the primary care setting. Healthcare, now more than ever, needs the advancement of APPs in primary care and COPC is taking an innovative approach with this fellowship program to meet this need. Throughout our 25-year history, COPC has launched many innovative ventures and programs, as well as being a leader in high-quality patient care. With the addition of this fellowship, APPs will be able to offer even more of the patient-centered care currently provided within COPC. Our network has nearly 500 physician providers within inpatient and outpatient settings, with over 30 specialty practices. COPC is a unique and ever-growing network, and one could argue we have all you are looking for within our company.”