North Carolina Institute of Medicine Launches Second Class of Legislative Health Policy Fellows

News | October 7, 2019


Michelle Ries



MORRISVILLE (October 7) — On October 7, the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) will welcome its second class of Legislative Health Policy Fellows. The program, launched in 2018, provides General Assembly members with resources and data to inform health policy decision-making and priorities. The three-day intensive course is for General Assembly members who are interested in learning more about health policy, population health, and the health challenges facing North Carolinians.


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. Previous class members have reported “format was superb” (Representative Gregory Murphy) and “this program will help me better understand legislation that comes before me” (Representative Cynthia Ball).


The NCIOM will host the first session of the Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program on October 7, 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. Ronny Bell, chair of the Department of Public Health at East Carolina University; Rep. John Burris, former Arkansas state representative; Mark Holmes, PhD, director of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Sheps Center for Health Services Research; and Robert Saunders, PhD, research director at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy.


“The Fellows program gives us the opportunity to share data, resources and evidence-based policy tools to inform health policy solutions in a non-partisan context,” 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.


2019 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:


Representative Kelly M. Alexander, Jr., D, District 107- Mecklenburg

Senator Deanna Ballard, R, District 45 - Alleghany, Ashe, Surry, Watauga, Wilkes

Representative Lisa Barnes, R, District 7 - Franklin, Nash

Representative Mary Belk, D, District 88 - Mecklenburg

Senator Jim Burgin, R, District 12 - Harnett, Johnson

Representative Christy Clark, D, District 98 - Mecklenburg

Representative Zack Hawkins, D, District 31 - Durham

Representative Rachel Hunt, D, District 103 - Mecklenburg

Representative Verla Insko, D, District 56 - Orange

Representative Marcia Morey, D, District 30 - Durham

Senator Jim Perry, R, District 7 - Lenoir, Wayne

Representative Joe Sam Queen, D, District 119 - Haywood, Jackson

Senator Vickie Sawyer, R, District 34 - Iredell, Yadkin

Representative Wayne Sasser, R, District 67 - Cabarrus, Stanly

Senator Sam Searcy, D, District 17 - Wake

Representative Raymond E. Smith, Jr. D, District 21 - Sampson, Wayne

Representative Julie von Haefen, D, District 36 - Wake

Senator Joyce Waddell, D, District 40 - Mecklenburg

Representative Ashton Wheeler Clemmons, D, District 57 - Guilford


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