Twenty-Seven Legislators Recognized as Health Policy Program Fellows

Left to right: Rep. Carl Anderson; Rep. David Weeks; Rep. Dennis Moss; Rep. Robert Williams; Rep. Joe Jefferson; Rep. MaryGail Douglas; Rep. Terry Alexander; Rep. Gary Clary; Rep. Derham Cole, Jr.; Rep. Chandra Dillard; Rep. Roger Kirby; Rep.Cezar McKnight; Rep.Eddie Tallon; Rep. Beth Bernstein; Rep. Jerry Govan; Rep. Robert Brown. Not pictured: Rep. Jimmy Bales; Rep. Justin Bamberg; Rep. Jeff Bradley; Rep. Alan Clemmons; Rep. Neal Collins; Rep. Donna Hicks; Sen. Thomas McElveen; Rep. Walt McLeod; Rep. Harold Mitchell, Jr.; Rep. Tommy Pope; Rep. Richie Yow

Left to right: Rep. Carl Anderson; Rep. David Weeks; Rep. Dennis Moss; Rep. Robert Williams; Rep. Joe Jefferson; Rep. MaryGail Douglas; Rep. Terry Alexander; Rep. Gary Clary; Rep. Derham Cole, Jr.; Rep. Chandra Dillard; Rep. Roger Kirby; Rep.Cezar McKnight; Rep.Eddie Tallon; Rep. Beth Bernstein; Rep. Jerry Govan; Rep. Robert Brown. Not pictured: Rep. Jimmy Bales; Rep. Justin Bamberg; Rep. Jeff Bradley; Rep. Alan Clemmons; Rep. Neal Collins; Rep. Donna Hicks; Sen. Thomas McElveen; Rep. Walt McLeod; Rep. Harold Mitchell, Jr.; Rep. Tommy Pope; Rep. Richie Yow

Twenty-seven members of the South Carolina General Assembly have been recognized as Health Policy Fellows by the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH). The elected officials were participants in the fall 2015 offering of the Fellows Program, offered by IMPH and supported by The Duke Endowment and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina. The program is a non-partisan initiative providing evidence-based information on health and health care issues in South Carolina.

“The Health Policy Fellows Program is a unique opportunity for elected officials to come together in a neutral environment to explore health and health care as it impacts their work in the legislature,” stated IMPH Executive Director Kester Freeman. “This class of 27 Fellows has shown an interest and commitment to learning about health policy issues, and we are privileged to recognize their achievements.”

The Health Policy Fellows Program, launched in 2013, is comprised of a series of interactive presentations and facilitated discussions with national and state experts. Classes examine health outcomes and the unique health challenges facing South Carolina, the health care system and how health care is financed and how to find common ground in discussing these aspects in a changing health care landscape.

“We are very grateful for the support of The Duke Endowment and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina,” said IMPH board chair Dr. Fred Carter. “Their investment has enabled the Institute to offer legislators in our state the opportunity to explore complex health issues in the context of evidence-based information.”

The Fellows Program is intended to assist elected officials by providing evidence-based information related to complex health topics. These issues are frequently linked to factors outside the influence of traditional health and health care. This program highlights the importance of considering health implications as factors across all policy decisions.

“The conversations enabled by the Fellows program increased my understanding of the health-related challenges and opportunities in South Carolina and provided an opportunity for open conversation focused on solutions,” shared Rep. Neal Collins, a program participant and newly named Fellow. “As a result of learning about a legislative fitness challenge in another state, I was excited to champion a similar program, A Healthier State House, so we as legislators can set a positive example for all South Carolinians.”

Members of the 2015 class of Fellows were recognized during a reception Wednesday evening. Others in the audience included representatives from the funding organizations and members of the IMPH board of directors. Mr. Freeman presented certificates of recognition to each participant.

The full class of 2015 Fellows:

Rep. Terry Alexander
Rep. Carl Anderson
Rep. Jimmy Bales
Rep. Justin Bamberg
Rep. Beth Bernstein
Rep. Jeff Bradley
Rep. Robert Brown
Rep. Gary Clary
Rep. Alan Clemmons
Rep. Derham Cole, Jr.
Rep. Neal Collins
Rep. Chandra Dillard
Rep. MaryGail Douglas
Rep. Jerry Govan
Rep. Donna Hicks
Rep. Joe Jefferson
Rep. Roger Kirby
Sen. Thomas McElveen
Rep. Cezar McKnight
Rep. Walt McLeod
Rep. Harold Mitchell, Jr.
Rep. Dennis Moss
Rep. Tommy Pope
Rep. Eddie Tallon
Rep. David Weeks
Rep. Robert Williams
Rep. Richie Yow

About the South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health
The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) is an independent entity serving as a neutral convener around the important health issues in our state. IMPH also serves as a resource for evidence-based information and to inform health policy decisions.

About The Duke Endowment
Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $3 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

About the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina works daily to address the needs of the poor and underserved in South Carolina through a variety of programs, grant opportunities, education and training for nonprofit organizations, evaluation, collaborative ventures and public policy work.

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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health