Chambers joins IMPH as Manager of Legislative Services

The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) is pleased to announce that Virgie Chambers has joined our staff as manager of legislative services.  Ms. Chambers brings over 25 years of experience in state government to this role, with 18 of those years working in policy development in the legislative and executive branches.  In her new position, Ms. Chambers will oversee an array of research and programmatic activities designed to provide evidence-based information to inform health policy.  A featured service is the Institute’s Health Policy Fellows Program, a non-partisan initiative providing high-level education on health and health care issues.

Ms. Chambers’ comprehensive experience includes serving as a researcher, budget analyst and lead staff to several standing committees of the SC General Assembly, including the Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs, Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees.  This work has exposed her to legislative and policy issues ranging from children’s services to health care funding.  As a part of the executive branch, Ms. Chambers served as lead health policy advisor to former Governor Jim Hodges.  While in that role, her work centered on issues affecting the elderly and resulted in the establishment and implementation of the SilverCard Prescription Drug Program for senior citizens.

“To have the wealth of experience offered by Ms. Chambers is a significant benefit to the work of the Institute,” said Kester Freeman, IMPH executive director.  “She has the unique distinction of having worked across many areas of state government and maintained bi-partisan respect for her abilities.”

Dr. Lee Pearson, director of operations for IMPH, stated that “Ms. Chambers adds important capacity and momentum to the Institute’s legislative services.  Her seasoned perspective brings tremendous value to our efforts to inform policy to improve health and health care in our state.”

As a neutral convener addressing the health priorities of our state, IMPH is launching the Health Policy Fellows Program in the fall of 2013.  This program features a series of educational sessions for members of the SC General Assembly.  The Fellows Program is intended to assist elected officials by providing resources and information related to complex health topics.  This program also highlights the importance of considering health implications as factors across all policy decisions.

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