Morrisville, NC (June 12, 2018)—
On June 18, 16 members of the North Carolina General Assembly representing both parties and a range of experience will graduate from a months-long course in health policy armed with a better understanding of the issues facing their constituents. The event will take place at 5 p.m. at the North Carolina Medical Society.
As members of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine’s inaugural class of Legislative Health Policy Fellows, these senators and representatives have convened three times since January to learn about the drivers of health, the private insurance market, Medicaid transformation, rural health, the behavioral health system, scope of practice, and more. Encouraged to discuss these issues with political allies and across-the-aisle colleagues alike, they asked many questions, learned from one another, and forged professional bonds based on shared goals of improved health for North Carolinians.
“I thought it was very useful, especially as a new legislator, to be with my counterparts,” said District 49 Representative Cynthia Ball (D). “I liked that we were able to get together, all of us, from both the Senate and the House, the two different parties, and have discussions and learn together, and have more evolving bipartisan policymaking.”
The Fellows attended presentations by local and statewide experts, as well as out-of-state representatives who have faced many of the same tough decisions about how to spend state money on health, including former Arkansas State Representative John Burris, Representative John Nygren of Wisconsin, and former Virginia Secretary of Health and Human Resources William A. Hazel, Jr.
“The format was excellent, bringing in experts and then facilitating discussion,” said District 9 Representative Gregory Murphy (R). “The vast majority of our legislators do not have the depth of knowledge (in health policy), but they’re responsible for it, so bringing in experts who are able to answer our questions, that is excellent.”
The graduation and presentation will be an opportunity to celebrate these legislators for taking the time to improve their skills and knowledge in the area of health policy. The NCIOM will share its first policy issue brief created specifically at the request of legislators on the recruitment and retention of the rural health workforce. Dr. Robert Bashford, Associate Dean for Rural Initiatives at the UNC School of Medicine, will deliver remarks on the challenges of training the rural health care workforce and ensuring that residents of rural North Carolina have access to the care they need.
Adam Zolotor, President and CEO of the NCIOM, said, “Two things make this program special: the commitment of legislators to building skill and knowledge, and the commitment to getting to solutions and beyond partisanship.”
The Legislative Health Policy Fellows program is funded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Cone Health Foundation, the Commonwealth Fund, and The Duke Endowment.
Media note: Members of the press are invited to attend. The NC Medical Society is located at 222 N. Person St., Raleigh. Please contact Michelle Ries (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you plan to attend.
NCIOM 2018 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:
Rep. Cynthia Ball, D, District 49 – Wake
Rep. MaryAnn Black, D, District 29 – Durham
Sen. Angela R. Bryant, D, District 4 – Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson
Rep. Carla D. Cunningham, D, District 106 – Mecklenburg
Sen. Rick Horner, R, District 11 – Johnston, Nash, Wilson
Rep. Pat B. Hurley, R, District 70 – Randolph
Sen. Joyce Krawiec, R, District 31 – Forsyth, Yadkin
Sen. Paul A. Lowe, Jr., D, District 32 – Forsyth
Rep. Gregory F. Murphy, MD, FACS, R, District 9 – Pitt
Sen. Louis Pate, R, District 7 – Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne
Rep. Larry W. Potts, R, District 81 – Davidson
Sen. Jeff Tarte, R, District 41 – Mecklenburg
Rep. Evelyn Terry, D, District 71 – Forsyth
Rep. Donna McDowell White, R, District 26 – Johnston
Rep. Shelly Willingham, D, District 23 – Edgecombe, Martin
Sen. Mike Woodard, D, District 22 – Durham, Person, Caswell
For more information on the NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows program, including full meeting agendas and speaker information, please visit our website at http://nciom.org/ourwork/legislative-health-policy-fellows/