Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program

NC legislative building

The Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program brings together legislators from the NC Senate and NC House to dig deeper into the data, information, policy options, and knowledge necessary for effective health policy decision-making.

Policy Fellows will advance their understanding of the health issues facing the people of our state, examine the strengths and challenges of our systems of health care delivery, and explore innovative opportunities to improve the health of all North Carolinians.

This will be the fourth cohort of this program. See a list of previous Fellows below.





Our Approach

  • We are non-partisan. We welcome constructive dialogue from a variety of perspectives, and cultivate an atmosphere of respectful exchange of viewpoints and ideas.
  • We are grounded in data and evidence-based solutions. Fellows will receive information specific to their districts and the state as a whole, and gain more information on how to track down unbiased information about health policy.
  • We learn together through discussion, question-and-answer sessions, and opportunities to network with health policy researchers, state and local agency leaders, people working directly in NC communities, and legislative colleagues.
  • The Fellows program includes up to 20 legislators in each cohort for four sessions held at convenient times in comfortable, welcoming locations.
  • These immersive sessions include a mix of speakers, interactive discussions, and learning activities that provide a deep dive into important issues such as the health care workforce, social and economic factors in health, mental health, and health care financing.



“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.”  


- Verla Insko, NC House District 56 – D-Orange, 2019 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellow (now retired)



“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.”  


- Gregory Murphy, US Congress (formerly NC House District 9 – R-Pitt), 2018 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellow



“The Legislative Health Policy Fellows program provides a fantastic opportunity to hear from subject matter experts on a variety of health-related topics. I was impressed by the breadth and depth of the information provided in the program.”


- Jim Perry, NC Senate District 2 – R-Beaufort, Craven, Lenoir), 2019 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellow



“Participating in the NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellows program was the single best thing I did as a new legislator to learn about state health policy.”


-Donna McDowell White, NC House District 26 – R- Johnson, 2018 NCIOM Legislative Health Policy Fellow



Session and Enrollment Information


Program sessions will include presentations and panels from health policy experts, policymakers, and renowned guest speakers. NCIOM staff will work with participating legislators to prioritize special topics of interest and to ensure a balance of formal presentations and informal discussion and networking time.


Session 1: January 8, 2024
10 am - 3 pm

Health Care Fundamentals


Health policy can quickly become overwhelmingly complex, and this session will help legislators enhance their knowledge of fundamental state health policy issues. Topics will include health care financing and payment models, underlying drivers of health, health care and public health workforce, and policy issues pertaining to healthy aging and maternal health.


Session 2: February 5, 2024
10 am - 3 pm

Mental Health


North Carolina is experiencing a growing need for mental health services and a strong and supported workforce to meet these needs. This session will address data on the rising rates of mental health diagnoses, substance use disorders, and the opioid epidemic, as well as suicide causes and prevention, and an overview of mental health care delivery and financing in our state.


Session 3: February 26, 2024
12 pm - 4:30 pm


This session will provide an overview of North Carolina Medicaid, including financing, eligibility, demographics of Medicaid recipients, and recent policy changes, including the implications of Medicaid expansion in our state. Legislative Health Policy Fellows from previous cohorts will be invited to join this session.


Following the February 26 session, there will be an evening reception from 5 pm - 6:30 pm to celebrate new insights and connections from the program and present certificates of completion to our 2024 Legislative Health Policy Fellows.


Session 4: March 11, 2024
10 am - 3 pm

Fellows' Choice: What's Important to You?


Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to share and discuss health policy issues and questions. For this final session, our NCIOM team will design an agenda based on these discussions, providing a more in-depth look at the issues most important to the participants and their constituents. This agenda will be informed by the needs of participants’ districts and upcoming legislative priorities. Previous cohorts have identified rural health, end of life care, environmental health, lessons learned from COVID-19, and the health care safety net as priority topic areas for this session.







The program is open to all legislators who want to learn more about health policy and resources, regardless of the amount of time they have served in the General Assembly.


There is no fee for enrollment in the Legislative Health Policy Fellows program.


Please note: Enrollment is limited to 20 legislators.


Enrollment for the 2024 cohort will begin in August 2023. To enroll, you can register here.


For more information, please contact Ivana Susic at Ivana_Susic@nciom.org

2021-22 Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program

2021-22 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

Representative Linda Cooper-Suggs, D, District 24 - Wilson

Senator Sarah Crawford, D, District 18 - Wake

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, Yancey



2019 Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program

2019 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:

Representative Kelly Alexander, 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 Smith, 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


2019 LHPF Issue Brief: Moving to Value-Based Care in North Carolina2019 LHPF Issue Brief: Supporting the Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being of Students in North Carolina Schools

2018 Legislative Health Policy Fellows Program

2018 Legislative Health Policy Fellows:

Representative Cynthia Ball, D, District 49- Wake

Representative MaryAnn Black, D, District 29 – Durham

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

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

Representative Carla D. 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 B. Hurley, R, District 70 – Randolph

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

Senator Paul A. Lowe, Jr., D, District 42 – Forsyth

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

Representative Gregory F. Murphy, MD, FACS, R, District 9 – Pitt

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

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

Representative Larry W. 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 McDowell White, R, District 26 – Johnston

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

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


2018 LHPF Issue Brief: Recruitment and Retention of the Rural Health Workforce

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