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Health Policy Club Hosts Talk on Role of Safety Net Providers

On Monday, February 20th, the W&M student-led Health Policy Club organized and hosted a talk on the role of safety net providers in the local healthcare system. Club co-president Martina Tvrdik (Biology and Public Policy, ’23) kicked off the event by describing upcoming policy changes in the December 2022 Omnibus legislation and their impacts on continuous Medicaid eligibility provisions under the Public Health Emergency. The end of continuous Medicaid enrollment means that, nationwide, millions of Americans will lose Medicaid coverage later this year.  

The main speaker of the event was Amber Martens, Director of Eligibility and Community Outreach for Lackey Clinic, a free and charitable clinic located in Yorktown. Lackey Clinic serves all Virginians who meet its eligibility requirements for medical, dental, and behavioral health and other services. Ms. Martens’ talk detailed the valuable role that Lackey Clinic plays in our community.  She also described how the services provided by Lackey complement and compare to the types of services available in the Medicaid program and through some of the subsidized health plans offered in the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges. Ms. Martens spoke about how some W&M students already play key volunteer roles at Lackey (like medical scribes), and she inspired the Health Policy Club’s members to think about ways they could promote awareness of health policies affecting residents in our area.  

The club’s event was sponsored by the Schroeder Center for Health Policy. For more information on the Health Policy Club, please contact Martina Tvrdik ( The next meeting of the club is scheduled for Monday, March 6th at 5:00 pm.