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Virtual Briefing: COVID-19 and the Health Insurance Coverage Gap

July 14, 2020 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Please join Care4Carolina for our virtual briefing on the impacts of COVID-19 and the influence of the health insurance coverage gap in North Carolina.

Our expert panel of speakers will cover a range of topics, including: the impact of the pandemic on our economy, health systems, families and children, and chronic disease patients, as well as the role health disparities have played in worsening the situation for so many North Carolinians.

We will discuss how closing the health insurance coverage gap is vital to the health of our citizens, and to alleviating the devastating impacts of this pandemic.

Our director, Erica Palmer Smith, will also offer insight on policy options to address these concerns and share action items for attendees.

This event will take place over Zoom. Registration is required using the form below.


Welcome and Overview

Moderator: Peg O’Connell, Chair, Care4Carolina Coalition

Economic Impact on North Carolina

Jason Gray, Senior Fellow for Research and Policy, NC Rural Center

Physician Perspective: Impact on Our Health Systems, Families, and Children

Dr. Lacy Hobgood, Governor, NC Chapter American College of Physicians; Medical Director of Adult and Pediatric Health Center at Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Physician Perspective: A Discussion on Chronic Disease and Health Disparities

Dr. Karen Winkfield, Radiation Oncologist and Director of Cancer Health Equity, Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center

Potential Policy Options & Status of Current Legislation

Erica Palmer Smith, Director, Care4Carolina Coalition


Opportunities for Action


More About Our Panel of Speakers

Jason Gray

Senior Fellow for Research and Policy, NC Rural Center

Jason’s career has been dedicated to raising up and advancing the interests of rural communities. As senior fellow at the Rural Center, he brings his experience linking research and over-the-horizon policy and program development to assist Center initiatives. He led the effort to create the Center’s Rural Counts policy platform and the Faith in Rural Communities program. 

From 2009 to 2013, he was director of the Center’s Office of Research and Innovation, and managed a diverse portfolio of research and grant-making projects. As a grantmaker, Jason oversaw the strategic development and implementation of nearly $9 million of economic innovation grants for reinvigorating North Carolina’s manufacturing sector, alternative energy development, and sustainable tourism industry.

Jason holds a master’s degree in regional planning from the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he held a fellowship at the Institute for Environmental Negotiation, and a bachelor’s from Emory & Henry College, a small Methodist school in rural Southwestern Virginia. A Virginia native, he got to North Carolina as soon as he could.


Lacy Chadwick Hobgood, MD, FACP, FAAP

Clinical Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics 

Division Head, Internal Medicine and Pediatrics 

Medical Director, Adult and Pediatric Health Center

Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University

Dr. Lacy Hobgood is a North Carolina native.  He grew up in Louisburg, which is a small town northeast of Raleigh.  He went to UNC-CH for his undergraduate education, then to NC State for a master’s degree in Zoology, then back to UNC-CH for medical school, where he was in the final class of the NC Rural Health Scholars Program.  He completed his residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics in Wilmington, Delaware, at Christiana Hospital and the Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children.  He then came back to North Carolina to be a small town doctor in Wadesboro as part of the NCMSF’s Community Practitioner Program.  He worked in the outpatient clinic setting, took care of patients in the hospital, was available for emergency room consults, and was the medical director of a nursing home.  

He joined the faculty of the Brody School of Medicine during the summer of 2010.  He is now the medical director of the combined Internal Medicine-Pediatrics teaching clinic, where he sees patients and teaches medical students and resident physicians.  His primary job is to teach them how to practice effective longitudinal care.  He also serves as an attending physician for both the General Internal Medicine and Newborn Nursery inpatient teaching services at Vidant Medical Center.

He is the Governor of the NC Chapter of the American College of Physicians, the Scoutmaster of Scouts BSA Troop 9, the husband of Elizabeth and father to son Chadwick, age 15, and daughter Caroline, age 10.  


Karen Winkfield, MD, PhD

Director, Hematologic Radiation Oncology

Associate Director for Cancer Health Equity

Director, Office of Cancer Health Equity

Wake Forest Baptist Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Winkfield is an Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Wake Forest Baptist Health, specializing in the use of radiation therapy in the treatment of hematologic malignancies (lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, bone marrow transplantation) and breast cancer. She received her MD and PhD degrees at Duke University, the 2nd black woman to graduate from Duke’s Medical Scientist Training Program. Karen completed her training at the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston, and remained on faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital for several years before relocating to Winston-Salem. She is a national expert in health equity research and community engagement. Her research is focused on the design and implementation of programming to reduce sociocultural and economic barriers that contribute to disparate health outcomes for racial/ethnic minorities and underserved populations. Dr. Winkfield is the Associate Director for Cancer Health Equity and Director of the Office of Cancer Health Equity at WFBCCC and previously served as Chair of ASCO’s Health Equity Committee. 



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July 14, 2020
11:30 am - 1:00 pm




(919) 389-3553