Christen MacKorell, a physician assistant student at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs, NC and a 2016 North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) Foundation Leadership College scholar, is already putting her newly acquired leadership skills to use.
“After enjoying and benefitting from attending our own NCMS meetings, I wanted my classmates [at Gardner-Webb’s PA program] to have similar opportunities to develop their individual leadership potential,” MacKorell said. “To that end, I applied for the Lanny Parker Memorial Endowment through the NCAPA [NC Association of Physician Assistants] and was awarded funding to take three of my classmates with me to the [American Academy of Physician Assistants Leadership and Advocacy Summit in Washington, DC].”
The summit includes time for attendees to lobby their representatives on Capitol Hill and MacKorell and her classmates met with House Majority Chief Deputy Whip Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC). They asked the Congressman to support legislation to include PAs as prescribers of buprenorphine (Suboxone) at the federal level. They also advocated for the expansion of Medicaid to reimburse all physicians and PAs for rendering behavioral health services.
MacKorell also offered “a shout out” to NCMS Director of Legislative Relations Chip Baggett praising his Leadership College presentation, which “perfectly prepared me to navigate my classmates through the policy discussion!”