North Carolina Institute of Medicine Launches Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program

News | January 16, 2018


Michelle Ries

Project Director



Media Release

MORRISVILLE (January 16, 2018) — The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) has launched the Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program to provide General Assembly members with resources and data to inform health policy decision-making and priorities. The inaugural 2018 class of Legislative Health Policy Fellows is comprised of 22 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 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.


“As legislators, we come to this work with a wide variety of backgrounds, but health care legislation is one of the more important things we do,” said Sen. Angela Bryant (D-District 4). “Even as a legislator with over a decade of experience, I continue to learn about the ins and outs of Medicaid and health care financing.”


Over three full-day sessions, Fellows will learn about health issues facing North Carolina, structure and financing of the state’s health care system, priorities for health care delivery and opportunities for improving health. Sessions will 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 will allow participating legislators to identify their health care priority topics for later sessions and provide opportunity for dialogue with colleagues and experts on how best to approach health policy decision-making for North Carolina.


“Over the past two years in the General Assembly, I have come to appreciate the nonpartisan, evidence-based approach to health policy from the NCIOM,” said Rep. Greg Murphy (R-District 9).


The NCIOM will host the first session of the Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program on Jan. 22, which will cover topics including “Drivers of Health” and “The U.S. Health System: An Overview of Insurance, Access, and State Performance.” Speakers include Dr. Laura Gerald, president of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust; Rep. John Burris, former Arkansas state representative; Sara Collins, Ph.D., vice president for health care coverage and access at The Commonwealth Fund; and Lanier Cansler, president of Cansler Collaborative Resources and former North Carolina state representative and Secretary of Health and Human Services.


"The most exciting thing about this opportunity for the NCIOM and the Fellows is the opportunity to share data, resources and evidence-based policy tools to inform health policy legislation,” said Adam Zolotor, president and CEO of the NCIOM.


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


2018 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:

            Representative Cynthia Ball, D, District 49 – Wake

            Representative MaryAnn Black, D, District 29 – Durham

            Senator Angela Bryant, D, District 4 – Halifax, Nash, Vance, Warren, Wilson

            Representative Deb Butler, D, District 18 – Brunswick, New Hanover

            Representative Carla Cunningham, D, District 106 – Mecklenburg

            Representative Josh Dobson, R, District 85 – Avery, McDowell, Mitchell

            Senator Chuck Edwards, R, District 48 – Buncombe, Henderson, Transylvania

            Senator Rick Horner, R, District 11 – Johnston, Nash, Wilson

            Representative Pat Hurley, R, District 70 – Randolph

            Senator Joyce Krawiec, R, District 31 – Forsyth, Yadkin

            Senator Paul Lowe, D, District 42 – Forsyth

            Representative Graig Meyer, D, District 50 – Durham, Orange

            Representative Greg Murphy, R, District 9 – Pitt

            Senator Paul Newton, R, District 36 – Cabarrus, Union

            Senator Louis Pate, R, District 7 – Lenoir, Pitt, Wayne

            Representative Larry Potts, R, District 81 – Davidson

            Senator Jeff Tarte, R, District 41 – Mecklenburg

            Representative Evelyn Terry, D, District 71 – Forsyth

            Senator Terry Van Duyn, D, District 49 – Buncombe

            Representative Donna White, R, District 26 – Johnston

            Representative Shelly Willingham, D, District 23 – Edgecombe, Martin

            Senator Mike Woodard, D, District 22 – Durham, Person, Caswell


The North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) is an independent, quasi-state agency that was chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1983 to provide balanced, nonpartisan information on issues of relevance to the health of North Carolina’s population. For more information, visit