It is my pleasure to provide an end-of-the-year update on the state of the Benjamin Rush Institute’s chapters. I am thrilled to report that BRI is strong and growing.
Two new chapters have been added this academic year alone, and we have seven chapters actively exploring membership. These developing chapters include one nursing program and two residency programs. Both are new avenues we are hoping to add to the BRI expansion into the medical field.
We have been working closely with our current chapter leaders to learn how to best support their efforts. Having someone dedicated to the growth and sustainment of our chapters now allows us to offer our students additional help in planning their events. We want them to always feel adequately supported as they seek to educate their classmates on free market healthcare alternatives.
Building strong relationships with like-minded organizations is of primary importance to our mission in building chapters. I have been fortunate to meet and speak with many representatives from strong organizations dedicated to free enterprise solutions. Some of those relationships have developed into unique partnerships that are showing exciting opportunities for the students. Our partnership with the Cato Institute is bringing our students to Dallas in just a few weeks for an exclusive student-only summit, Health Reform U., a pre-cursor to Cato’s State Health Policy Summit, and BRI’s annual Leadership Conference will be in conjunction with this year’s FMMA Annual Conference in April. We are thrilled and honored for the future of these outstanding partnerships, and so many more.
The foundation of what we do is building chapters that can hold educational events. Those events range from lectures with policy experts and practitioners to book clubs to debates. We are excited about our new Second Opinion Debates series. Kicking off right at the beginning of the new year with events at Penn State and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, this series of debates will be focusing on both sides of the single-payer healthcare discussion. We will be hosting these debates across the country as part of the events our student chapters will hold on campus. Sharing many of our campus events via social media now – livestreaming events on our Twitter and Facebook pages – allows so much more access for our chapters. A chapter in one part of the country can host a discussion and students at another chapter can watch live! We will expand this functionality more in 2019.
We need your help to keep our mission going. Help me reach out to more students. Help us send more students to more conferences. Directly impact the work Robbie and I do in your state or at your medical school. Sponsor a Second Opinion Series Debate.
I am happy to answer all of your questions, and if you know any students that would like to start a chapter, I would love to speak with them. Please reach out to me directly, 703-835-6118 or [email protected]
Thank you for your support.
~ Rebecca Kiessling, BRI Director of Programs