UNC Medical Students Lead Grassroots Effort in Support of Medicaid Expansion

Inspired by UNC's mission to improve the health of all North Carolinians, a team of medical students from all five of the state's medical schools, led by UNC SOM fourth-year students, drafted a petition to our state leaders in support of Medicaid expansion. Over 400 medical students from every school in the state signed on in support.

Last year, five UNC medical students led a grassroots effort in support of physician driven and patient centered Medicaid reform reaffirming and building on our state’s Medicaid coordinated care model known as Community Care of North Carolina. These students helped gather nearly 350 medical student signatures from every school in the state in a letter to our state leaders. Several of these students went on to have meetings with their state legislators, talk at open forums, meet the Governor, and helped form health policy interest groups at multiple medical schools. These students believed it was important to let their voices be heard for the good of all North Carolinians, and they have stepped up again this year in support of Medicaid expansion.

Four hundred nineteen medical students from across the state, 180 from UNC, signed a letter written by Rachel Weiner, a 4th year UNC medical student. This letter was sent to Governor McCrory and Secretary Wos of the Department of Health and Human Services for their leadership in facilitating Medicaid expansion for roughly 500,000 eligible North Carolinians.

“In this complex political environment, we look to you for leadership in making an economically sound decision for our state.  We also urge you to remember what matters most – the care of all North Carolinians, especially those least able to help themselves.  Expanding Medicaid will ensure that physicians are able to provide this care to North Carolina’s citizens,“ the letter reads.

Fourth year medical student Cleveland Piggott, an organizer of the campaign, has the following message for her fellow caregivers and students:

"In order to hold true to UNC Health Care’s vision and values, I encourage all of you to not only continue to provide excellent care to patients in your offices or hospital beds, but to also advocate for them when it comes to health policy. Hope to see some of you at the state capitol in the coming weeks. I’ll be one of many proudly wearing the short white coat."

Filed under: