NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program Convenes Third Cohort

Blog | October 19, 2021


By Brieanne Lyda-McDonald

The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) this month began hosting the third cohort of the Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program to provide General Assembly members with resources and data to inform health policy decision-making and priorities.  The 2021 class of Legislative Health Policy Fellows is comprised of 15 state legislators (see full list of participants below).


North Carolina allocates over 30% of the state’s budget toward health-related services. Given the large portion of the state budget dedicated to health and health care, decisions regarding health policy have tremendous impact on North Carolina’s economy and the health of communities across the state. These decisions are among the most important responsibilities of state legislators.


Fellows learn about health issues facing North Carolina, the structure and financing of the state’s health care system, priorities for health care delivery, and opportunities for improving health. Sessions provide information on public and private health care financing, the role of Health and Human Services agencies, and resources for health policy data and research. In addition, the program allows participating legislators to identify their health care priority topics for later sessions and provides opportunities for dialogue with colleagues and experts about how best to approach health policy decision-making for North Carolina.


Past fellows have appreciated the program, saying that it made them more confident in their abilities, improved their connections to resources and staff at NCIOM, helped them get to know some of their colleagues from across the aisle, and gave them access to the knowledge of experts in the field of health policy.

“The format was superb, bringing in experts and then facilitating discussion. Our legislators are responsible for health policy, so bringing in experts who are able to answer our questions, that is excellent.”

-- Former Representative Gregory Murphy, District 9-Pitt, 2018 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellow

“Not only was the material we covered extremely helpful, but I was able to get to know more personally several members from across the aisle. The setting and activities were engaging and informal. It was both necessary and natural to be drawn into the subject at hand and forget about party.”

-- Representative Verla Insko, District 56 - Orange, 2019 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows

The NCIOM hosted the first session of the 2021 Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program on October 4, covering “Top Things to Know About US Health Policy from the State Perspective,” “Health and the Economy,” and an overview of local public health, Medicaid, safety net providers, and private insurance in the state.


“Health policy is both extraordinarily complex and very concrete – all of us need care at some point, and we experience that within a system that has both deep strengths and persistent challenges,” says Kathy Colville, President and CEO of the NCIOM. “The 15 North Carolina elected officials who have chosen to participate in this year’s Legislative Health Policy Fellows program and the 41 alumni of the program are committed to understanding health care, health insurance, state and federal policy, and all the other complexities. They should be commended for their desire to learn more about this important policy area and for their willingness to do this across party lines in a non-partisan, evidence-based, and solution-focused environment.”


The Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program is funded by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Cone Health, and the Duke Endowment.

Legislative Health Policy Fellows, October 2021
Legislative Health Policy Fellows, October 2021
2021 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:
      Representative Kristin Baker, R, District 82 – Cabarrus
      Senator Sydney Batch, D, District 17 – Wake
      Representative Becky Carney, D, District 102 - Mecklenburg
      Senator Sarah Crawford, D, District 18 - Wake
      Representative Linda Cooper-Suggs, D, District 24 – Wilson
      Senator Don Davis, D, District 5 - Greene, Pitt
      Representative Susan Fisher, D, District 114 - Buncombe
      Senator Amy Galey, R, District 24 - Alamance, Guilford
      Representative Pricey Harrison, D, District 57 - Guilford
      Representative Ricky Hurtado, D, District 63 - Alamance
      Senator Steve Jarvis, R, District 29 - Davidson, Montgomery
      Representative Grier Martin, D, District 34 – Wake
      Senator Natalie Murdock, D, District 20 - Durham
      Representative Mark Pless, R, District 118 - Haywood, Madison,
      Representative David Willis, R, District 68 - Union