NCIOM Recognizes 2024 Legislative Health Policy Fellows

News | March 5, 2024



Photos by Matt Ramey

Chapel Hill, North Carolina (March 5, 2024) -- Twenty-two members of the North Carolina House and Senate were recognized last week for their participation in the North Carolina Institute of Medicine 2024 Legislative Health Policy Fellows program. After convening throughout the winter to learn from experts and one another in an effort to enrich health policy decision-making in our state, the fellows gathered on February 26 in downtown Raleigh for a celebration of these efforts.

The Legislative Health Policy Fellows program provides a unique nonpartisan environment for state legislators to dig deep into the data and information necessary to make effective health policy. The 2024 cohort includes 10 Democrats and 12 Republicans representing districts across the state. Fellows make a commitment to attending a series of educational meetings and engaging in discussion with their peers about innovative approaches to improving health for all North Carolinians.

“I appreciated the access to incredibly in-depth data, as well as the opportunity to find out where a lot of my colleagues are, both across the aisle and in the other chamber, on health care issues facing our state,” said 2024 Fellow Sen. Ralph Hise. “I recommend this program to any legislator!”

Fellows in the 2024 cohort participated in immersive sessions that included a mix of speakers, discussions, and learning activities focused on the health care workforce, social and economic factors in health, mental health, and health care financing in North Carolina. January’s session focused on the health status of North Carolinians and the role of philanthropy. There were two sessions in February: one focused on mental health and pharmaceutical policy, and one on payment and access challenges with examples from other states.

“This program fosters invaluable collaboration between health care experts and lawmakers (from both sides of the aisle), enriching legislative decision-making with firsthand understanding and insight into the complexities of our health care system and, ultimately, enabling us to craft informed policies for the well-being of all North Carolinians,” said 2024 Fellow Rep. Maria Cervania.

The final session will take place on March 11, focused on a topic determined by the fellows themselves: family health and well-being, including prevention of adverse childhood experiences, maternal health care, and mental health and substance use. Presentations will focus on understanding these issues and exploring opportunities to improve access to care.

“We have been thrilled with the thoughtfulness and enthusiasm that our legislators have brought to these discussions,” said NCIOM Interim President and CEO Michelle G. Ries. “We look forward to continuing to provide resources that will lead to better health for all people across our state.”

The 2024 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows cohort includes:

Sen. Gale Adcock (D), 16th District, Wake
Sen. Val Applewhite (D), 19th District, Cumberland
Sen. Sydney Batch (D), 17th District, Wake
Sen. Mary Wills Bode (D), 18th District, Granville, Wake
Rep. Gloristine Brown (D), 8th District, Pitt
Rep. Terry M. Brown, Jr. (D), 92nd District, Mecklenburg
Sen. Jim Burgin (R), 12th District, Harnett, Lee, Sampson
Rep. Maria Cervania (D), 41st District, Wake
Rep. Allen Chesser (R), 25th District, Nash
Sen. Kevin Corbin (R), 50th District, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon, Swain, Transylvania
Sen. Lisa Grafstein (D), 13th District, Wake
Sen. Ralph Hise (R), 47th District, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Caldwell, Haywood, Madison, Mitchell, Watauga, Yancey
Rep. Donny Lambeth (R), 75th District, Forsyth
Sen. Michael V. Lee (R), 7th District, New Hanover
Sen. Julie Mayfield (D), 49th District, Buncombe
Rep. Charles W. Miller (R), 19th District, Brunswick, New Hanover
Rep. Renee A. Price (D), 50th District, Caswell, Orange
Rep. A. Reece Pyrtle, Jr. (R), 65th District, Rockingham
Rep. Timothy Reeder (R), 9th District, Pitt
Sen. Benton G. Sawrey (R), 10th District, Johnston
Rep. John A. Torbett (R), 108th District, Gaston
Rep. Donna McDowell White (R), 26th District, Johnston

To learn more about the Legislative Health Policy Fellows program, including information about past sessions and alumni, click here.

The 2024 session of the NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows program is sponsored by The Duke Endowment and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.


The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) is forward-looking and focused on solutions. The organization was founded in 1983 by the North Carolina General Assembly to serve as a source of non-partisan information and analysis to promote effective health policies focused on improving the health and well-being of all North Carolinians. Learn more at