Empowered members power change at the NCMS White Coat Day

RALEIGH – Wednesday morning saw clear skies and a sea of white coats as the North Carolina Medical Society sent over 30 members to the General Assembly ready to meet legislators.

The day began with a legislative briefing by NCMS VP of Advocacy John Thompson and Health Policy Manager Emma Kate Burns. They led the group through talking points on Prior Authorization, the Health Care Flexibility Act,  modernizing Medicaid provider rates, and other topics likely to come up during their meetings with legislators.  The group also learned tips for interacting with legislators and were prepped for the hectic day ahead.


Group photo before members set off to the NC General Assembly


The next stop was the North Carolina General Assembly and a presentation by NCMS members, Rep. Timothy Reeder, MD and Rep. Kristin Baker, MD. Reeder and Baker told the group about their roles in North Carolina government and offered more insight into how meetings were going to go throughout the day.

Representatives Timothy Reeder and Kristin Baker address the NCMS White Coat Day crowd

After that the group went to assigned meetings with Senators and Representatives throughout the buildings.  Some key meetings included Rep. John Bell, Rep. Destin Hall, Sen. Dan Blue, Sen. Phil Berger, and House Speaker Rep. Tim Moore. Each meeting included a NCMS staff member and 4 – 6 members in white coats. John Thompson says “the meetings are an amazing way to bring together these lawmakers with the people who have the most knowledge of these complicated issues. White Coat Day is an important tool the NCMS has to effect change for our members and the people of North Carolina.”

House Speaker Tim Moore and NCMS CEO Chip Baggett talking with White Coat Day attendees
Attendees telling House Speaker Tim Moore about issues important to the NCMS

Invigorated and excited members then returned to the NCMS headquarters for a break that included lunch and a presentation from NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley.  While Kinsley talked about the importance of involvement by physicians and PAs in the legislative process, he also announced that enrollment in the newly expanded Medicaid program in NC has topped 486,000 people.


NC DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley speaking over lunch at the NCMS headquarters

Members finished off the day with more meetings at the legislative building and many took time to record messages about their day in Raleigh!

Dr. Karen Wood describing the importance of advocacy as part of her profession.

The day continued with more meetings at the Legislature with Rep. Garland Pierce, Rep. Allen Buansi, Sen. Michael Lee, and Sen. Paul Lowe, Jr.  It ended with a recognition on the House floor from Rep. Timothy Moore, MD.

Here are two of the handouts our teams were working from.