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Health Policy & Legislative Affairs

Welcome to the National Health Policy and Legislative Affairs (HPLA) Committee webpage! Here, you will find a variety of resources ranging from official SNMA policy statements to our guide to student advocacy, the Mobilize and Activate Manual. Our committee has a strong passion for advocacy efforts, so throughout the year you will also be able to read here about any advocacy initiatives we are working on and would love to have you get involved with!

Our committee is also tasked with the important goal of providing educational opportunities focused on health policy and structural competency. To that end, we organize various webinars hosted by strong leaders from other organizations regarding the issues we identify as "hot-topics" that the SNMA should be aware of. Feel free to check that out in our "Announcements" section.

Should you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at healthpolicy@snma.org.

Hope to see you back soon!

In solidarity,
Eloho Akpovi & Justin Anderson
HPLA Co-Chairs, 2019-2020

The goals of the HPLA include:

  • Spearheading all of the SNMA's advocacy efforts;
  • Educating members about legislative and policy developments affecting medical education and health care;
  • Seeking opportunities to increase the SNMA's voice, brand, and influence in health care and education advocacy;
  • Identifying key legislation and court cases and decisions regarding medical education, health care reform, and minority and women's health; and
  • Providing opportunities for medical students to advocate at the local, regional, national, and/or international level.

Committee Leadership

Eloho Akpovi, MS

HPLA Co-Chair
MD-ScM Candidate
Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

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Justin Anderson

HPLA Co-Chair
MD Candidate
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

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Upcoming Webinars

  • TBA: Mass Incarceration
Past Webinars
  • May 16, 2019: Dr. Dowin Boatright from Yale Med on Implicit Bias & Microaggressions - (click here for recording)
  • February 10, 2019: Global Woman P.E.A.C.E. Foundation Talk on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) - (click here for PPT)
  • November 05, 2018: Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) Webinar on "Meet the Candidates" - (click here for PPT)
  • September 30, 2018: NMA Webinar for Intro to Health Policy & Advocacy - (click here for PPT)

Not sure about the policies on advocating on the behalf of the SNMA? Please check out our organization's advocacy guide, Mobilize and Activate, which goes over limitations as a 501(c)3 organization and protocols for advocacy work and responses to current events! 

The Health Policy and Legislative Affairs Committee (HPLA) is excited to announce our bi-annual grant to provide financial assistance to SNMA and MAPS chapters interested in developing policy and advocacy projects! There is one grant available each Fall and Spring. Chapter projects should align with the mission and goals of the SNMA and should ideally relate to one of the efforts coordinated by HPLA.

Past Awardees:
Fall 2018: Ohio University (OU-HCOM) SNMA Chapter's Science Discovery Club

Stay tuned for the application which will go live in September 2019!


Applications are CLOSED for the 2019-2020 Fellowship Program!

The SNMA Health Policy & Legislative Affairs (HPLA) Fellowship is designed to provide individuals with unique exposure to health policy and advocacy from the perspective of a non-profit organization, as well as the experience of organizing an advocacy project.

This program offers the opportunity to gain a more thorough understanding of a medical career in health policy and an introduction to current health policy, grassroots efforts, and critical health policy issues. This program also aims to develop and cultivate leaders within the Student National Medical Association that will influence the future of healthcare through advocacy and activism efforts that will systematically address the inequities faced by underserved communities.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Current National SNMA member
  • Enrolled in a medical school and actively seeking a medical degree (MD or DO)

Questions? Send an email to hplafellowship@snma.org and cc healthpolicy@snma.org.

Current Fellows (2019-2020): TBA

Past Fellows:

  • Rachel Buckle, Emory University School of Medicine, 2018-2019 Fellow
  • Kelley Butler, UC Irvine School of Medicine, 2018-2019 Fellow
  • Fred Loor, American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, 2018-2019 Fellow

Resources & Opportunities

American Medical Association Medical Student Section (AMA-MSS)
The AMA-MSS Annual Conference is being hosted in June in Chicago. There will be a Mentoring Mixer for URM Students, hosted by the AMA Minority Affairs Section, on Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 9:30-11 pm. Guests will include but are not limited to those attending the AMA Annual Meeting as members, delegates, and other organizational representatives. Anyone interested in increasing diversity and inclusion in the physician workforce, eliminating health disparities in communities of color, and engaging in minority health advocacy and policy are welcome to attend. The mixer will be at the Hyatt Regency Chicago and the attire will be business casual.

If you are interested, please contact us at healthpolicy@snma.org.

AAMC Health Equity Research Webinars

Race, justice, poverty and access to medicines: How Students Can Hold Universities Accountable for Promoting Equitable Health Systems: A discussion on race, justice, poverty, and #access2meds with guest speaker, Gloria Tavera from Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM). Learn how students can hold universities accountable for promoting #healthequity!

Other Resources

SNMA Policy Statements

Members of the HPLA Committee develop policy statements on key public health issues related to the mission of the Student National Medical Association. Proposed policy statements are peer-reviewed and only become official SNMA policy after approval from the SNMA Board of Directors. Our policy statements are used to represent the position of the SNMA on specific public health issues and highlight major health disparities in the country and globally. 

HPLA Needs YOU! The Health Policy & Legislative Affairs National Committee aims to uphold SNMA's mission to create culturally competent & socially conscious physicians that serve underrepresented minority communities. In order to accomplish this, it is important that we make official policy statements on topics in social medicine. For this reason, we are enlisting the help of SNMA membership: We are looking for passionate individuals to draft official policy statements on public health topics such as obesity in minority communities, the negative health impact of poor education and many more. If you have an idea for a statement we do not currently have or would like to edit a pre-existing one, please contact us at healthpolicy@snma.org.

Current Policy Statements:
Affirmative Action
Affordable Housing (coming soon)
Cultural & Structural Competency
Diversity & Equity
Drug Schedules (coming soon)
Environmental Health
Female Genital Mutilation
Gun Violence
Immigrant Health & Immigration Policy
LGBTQIA+ Health (coming soon)
Mass Incarceration (coming soon)
Medical-Legal Partnership (coming soon)
Mental Health (coming soon)
Police Brutality
Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities (coming soon)
Racism as a Public Health Issue
Residency Work Hours
Sickle Cell Disease
Smoking Prevention
Substance Use Disorder
Title Programs
Trauma-Informed Care
Universal Healthcare
Women's Health