Health Policy Fellows Program 2.0


The fall 2021 Health Policy Fellows Program welcomes current legislators and program alumni for an updated, enhanced curriculum including a deep dive into South Carolina’s Medicaid program and evidence-based policies to increase health equity in South Carolina.

In light of the recent COVID-19 surge, we have postponed the first session of the 2021 Health Policy Fellows Program. Public health and the safety of our participants, speakers and staff is our top priority. The new schedule is below.

What You’ll Learn

Class 1: October 12, 2021

Understanding Medicaid, Health Systems and Financing: Improving Return on Investment

Speakers: Robert Kerr, Director, South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS); Windsor Sherrill, Ph.D., MBA, MHA, Associate Vice President for Health Research, Clemson University, Chief Science Officer, Prisma Health – Upstate

This class will help participants better understand how the SC Medicaid system works. The class will also include an overview of complex national and state level health care system structures and financing. Participants will learn about and discuss changes that are occurring in our country as new philosophies emerge about how to pay for health care. Presenters will also address health care as a unique industry that does not adhere to basic economic theory.

Class 2: October 27, 2021

Determinants of Health Outcomes and Health Equity

Keynote: Joaquin Baca, MSPH, Sr. Policy Analyst, American Medical Association

Additional Speakers: Chynna Phillips, MSW, MPH, Research & Policy Director, Sisters of Charity Foundation; Noreen O’Donnell, MSW, Program Director, Diabetes Free S.C.; Angel Bourdon, MHA, Innovation Manager, Health People Healthy Carolinas, S.C. Hospital Association

This class orients participants to the health status of South Carolinians, social determinants of health and racial and health inequities highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will learn about and discuss the human and financial burden of poor health outcomes and innovative solutions being implemented in South Carolina and across the country.

Class 3: November 9, 2021

Moving Forward to Improve Health: Conversational Capacity

Speaker: Craig Weber, Founder, The Weber Consulting Group

During the final class of the 2021 Health Policy Fellows Program, participants will learn how to productively navigate polarizing issues using a practical framework for engaging in open, balanced and effective dialogue, including specific policy issues.
3 Sessions over 2 Months
October 12, 2021
October 27, 2021
November 9, 2021
Health Policy Fellows Map
Rep. Terry Alexander - 2015 (D-59)
Rep. Rita Allison - 2013 (R-36)
Rep. Carl Anderson - 2015 (D-103)
Rep. Todd Atwater - 2017 (R-87)
Rep. Jimmy Bales - 2015 (D-80)
Rep. Justin Bamberg - 2015 (D-90)
Rep. Beth Bernstein - 2015 (D-78)
Rep. Jeff Bradley - 2015 (R-123)
Rep. Robert Brown - 2015 (D-116)
Rep. Paula Rawl Calhoon - 2019 (R-87)
Rep. Micajah “Micah” Caskey IV - 2017 (R-89)
Rep. Gary Clary - 2015 (R-3)
Rep. Alan Clemmons - 2015 (R-107)
Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter - 2013 (D-66)
Rep. Derham Cole - 2015 (R-32)
Rep. Neal Collins - 2015 (R-5)
Sen. Ronnie Cromer - 2019 (R-18)
Rep. Sylleste Davis - 2017 (R-100)
Rep. Chandra Dillard - 2015 (D-23)
Rep. MaryGail Douglas - 2015 (D-41)
Rep. Raye Felder - 2017 (R-26)
Rep. Cally “Cal” Forrest - 2017 (R-39)
Rep. Laurie Funderburk - 2013 (D-52)
Rep. Jerry Govan - 2015 (D-95)
Rep. Phyllis Henderson - 2013 (R-21)
Rep. Donna Hicks - 2015 (R-37)
Rep. Jenny Horne - 2013 (R-94)
Rep. Joe Jefferson - 2015 (D-102)
Rep. Roger Kirby - 2015 (D-61)
Rep. David Mack - 2013 (D-109)
Sen. John Matthews - 2013 (D-39)
Rep. Annie E. McDaniel - 2019 (D-41)
Sen. Thomas McElveen - 2015 (D-35)
Rep. Cezar McKnight - 2015 (D-101)
Rep. Walt McLeod - 2015 (D-40)
Rep. Harold Mitchell - 2015 (D-31)
Rep. Dennis Moss - 2015 (R-29)
Rep. Joe Neal - 2013 (D-70)
Rep. Brandon Michael Newton - 2017 (R-45)
Sen. Floyd Nicholson - 2017 (D-10)
Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell - 2019 (D-44)
Rep. Russell Ott - 2019 (D-93)
Rep. Andy Patrick - 2013 (R-123)
Sen. Clementa Pinckney - 2013 (D-45)
Rep. Tommy Pope - 2015 (R-47)
Sen. Rex Rice - 2017 (R-2)
Rep. Leola Robinson-Simpson - 2017 (D-25)
Rep. Mike Ryhal - 2013 (R-56)
Sen. Ronnie Sabb - 2017 (D-32)
Sen. Katrina Frye Shealy - 2017 (R-23)
Rep. Eddie Tallon - 2015 (R-33)
Rep. Ivory Thigpen - 2019 (D-79)
Rep. Ashley Trantham - 2019 (R-28)
Rep. David Weeks - 2015 (D-51)
Rep. John Taliaferro “Jay” West IV - 2017 (R-7)
Rep. William “Will” Wheeler III - 2017 (D-50)
Rep. Robert Williams - 2015 (D-62)
Rep. Richie Yow - 2015 (R-53)

Legislative Summit

On election years, IMPH convenes an intimate gathering of attendees including alumni of the Health Policy Fellows Program, legislative staff, government officials and members of the IMPH Board of Directors to converse with state and national experts discussing a specific health policy issue or concern, seeking collaborative, evidence-based solutions.


OCT. 2018 | Columbia, S.C.

Tomorrow’s Hope Innovative Approaches to School Mental Health Services

View Report
School mental health services will be a legislative priority under school climate and safety for the 123rd Session of the South Carolina Legislature that started January 2019.
Systemic approaches to expand access to school mental health services for early identification and intervention to mitigate emotional and behavioral problems that impact a child’s ability to learn.
Summit Recommendations
  • Statewide consistency in screenings, behavioral supports, training and resources for school mental health services mandated by legislature
  • Take a cost-effective approach
  • Involve stakeholders
  • Build consensus


The South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health (IMPH) developed the Health Policy Fellows Program in 2013 to provide members of the General Assembly with clear, evidence-based health policy information in a nonpartisan manner. 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.
The Fellows Program includes national speakers as well as South Carolina experts. Panels of health and public health professionals provide information about our state’s health challenges and share examples of promising practices across the state that are achieving success in improving community health.

The full series of Fellows classes is an ongoing program that is offered every other year for members of the General Assembly.
IMPH gratefully acknowledges the support of The Duke Endowment and Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina in making the Health Policy Fellows Program possible.

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