UVA Internal Medicine Residents Visit Washington, D.C. for Heath Equity, Advocacy and Leadership Track Day

May 7, 2024 by

HEAL trip to D.C.UVA Internal Medicine residents participating in the Health Equity, Advocacy, and Leadership (HEAL) track embarked on a transformative journey to Washington, D.C. on April 11, under the guidance of Cameron Webb, MD, JD, an assistant professor of medicine and senior policy advisor to the White House. The HEAL track aims to equip residents with the necessary skills to advocate for enhanced health outcomes within populations grappling with systemic social and health disparities. Throughout their excursion, residents engaged in a series of enlightening experiences designed to deepen their understanding of health policy and advocacy.

The residents’ itinerary was brimming with impactful encounters, commencing with a meeting with Lynne Boyle of UVA Federal Relations, where they delved into the intricacies of federal health policy. A tour of the White House provided a firsthand glimpse into the heart of American governance. The residents also had the privilege of engaging with key figures such as Thomas Libert, senior policy advisor of the Domestic Policy Council, and Gregory Jackson Jr., deputy director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention, exchanging insights and perspectives on pressing health issues.

Session at the Senate building with Representative Spanberger.

The journey culminated in an array of influential meetings, including discussions with Carolyn Olortegui, legislative correspondent at Senator Tim Kaine’s office, and a session at the Senate building with Representative Spanberger. These interactions empowered residents to not only grasp the complexities of health advocacy but also to forge meaningful connections with policymakers.

HEAL Track resident Michael Bates, MD, said, “Our trip to D.C. was incredible. I am actively working on several projects with policy implications, and I was getting to bounce ideas off high-ranking members of government, several of whom are only two or three degrees of separation from the President. The perspective I received during this visit to the White House and Congress helped me put my own projects into perspective and allowed me to get a better idea of how research can guide policy at the highest levels of government.”

Armed with newfound knowledge and inspiration, participants returned home poised to effect positive change in their communities, embodying the spirit of the HEAL track’s mission.

Filed Under: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion