University of Memphis Partnering with the Church Health Center to Bring Health Coverage to Graduate Assistants

contract signing

Back row, left to right: David Taylor (GSA Vice-President), Sasha Arnold (GSA Parliamentarian), Josh Dohmen (GSA Graduate Student Healthcare Committee Chair), Kelli O'Brien (GSA Secretary), Danielle Miro (GSA College of Educational, Health and Human Sciences Representative), and Kaitlin Duckett (GSA President)

Front row, left to right: Dr. Karen Weddle-West (Provost), Dr. M. David Rudd (President), Dr. Scott Morris (CEO of the Church Health Center), and Jenny Bartlett-Prescott (Senior Director, Integrated Health Programs, Church Health Center)

On May 4, 2015, President M. David Rudd and Dr. Scott Morris, Chief Executive Officer of the Church Health Center, signed a contract to provide the Memphis Plan health coverage to eligible Graduate Assistants. Also in attendance were Provost Weddle-West, Dr. Jasbir Dhaliwal, Dean of the Graduate School, and many members of the Graduate Student Association, all of whom played an integral role in the development of this contract. The Memphis Plan will provide graduate assistants access to health care at a reasonable cost. The Church Health Center is able to offer the Memphis Plan because they have partnered with local doctors and hospitals that donate their services. Plan members will not have to pay a deductible or copayment when seeking medical care and GAs who take advantage of this plan will have access to the least expensive and highest quality healthcare that the city of Memphis can offer. Dr. Morris noted that this, "amazing gift is thanks to the generosity of the medical community of Memphis." It is his hope that this new collaboration will encourage graduate students to learn more about the work of the Church Health Center and get engaged with the organization and the opportunities that it offers to the city. President Rudd thanked Dr. Morris and the Memphis medical community for their wonderful work and acknowledged the hard work of the Provost and the Graduate Student Association. Dr. Weddle-West added that, "it is wonderful to see this come to fruition," and thanked all involved for their commitment to bettering the health and welfare of graduate students at the U of M. Graduate assistants will be contacted with Memphis Plan application directions later this summer.