Topic: Medicaid expansion

in Mississippi.

 Medicaid expansion in Mississippi

moderated by former state legislator

Jarvis Dortch

Sunday, Jan 16, 2022
2:30 PM - 4:00 PM


Sunday, January 16, 2022 1/16/2022: Sunday afternoon from 2:30 to 4 p.m., there will be a streaming zoom meeting available to view for a meaningful panel discussion on the topic of Medicaid expansion in Mississippi, moderated by former state legislator Jarvis Dortch, current Executive Director of the ACLU Mississippi. Joining him onstage will be State Senator Chad McMahon, local physician Dr. Vernon Rayford, Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy Policy Director Jamie Rasberry, and President and CEO of North Mississippi Health Services Shane Spees.



Jarvis Dortch is a native of Jackson, Mississippi and graduate of Jackson State University and Mississippi College School of Law.

Jarvis is a member of the Mississippi State Bar and from 2016 to 202o he was a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives, serving in District 66 in Hinds county. In July 2020, Jarvis stepped down from the legislature to become Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Mississippi.


Prior to being elected to the Mississippi House, Jarvis served as Program Manager and Staff Attorney at Mississippi Health Advocacy Program where he provided consumer assistance and appeals to healthcare consumers. He has worked for over a decade in various areas of public health and social justice advocacy with both nonprofit health organizations and state agencies in Mississippi.



Chad McMahan is married to Nicky Clayton-McMahan of Nettleton, MS. He is the son of Larry McMahan and Susan McMahan of Tupelo, MS. He is a 1990 graduate of Tupelo High School and holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in History from Union University.


He has worked in the private sector for 27+ years for Great Southern Industries, a Rusken Company.


He was first elected to office in 2014 as an Alderman and is currently serving as a State Senator to District 6, which is North Lee and Western Itawamba Counties.


In the Senate he serves on several committees which include Business and Financial Institutions (Vice Chairman), Public Health and Welfare, Veteran Affairs, Ec18onomic Development, Tourism, Finance, PEER, and serves as Chairman of the Local and Private Committee.


In the State Senate he has spoken boldly for traditional values, a champion of public education, a leader in private property rights, and advocates for access to sustainable, affordable and quality healthcare for Mississippians.


Vernon Rayford, MD_edited.jpg

Vernon Rayford is from Holly Springs, MS. He earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Ole Miss in 2005 and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Vanderbilt in 2009.  He completed residency training in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. 


He works as a primary care physician at IMA in Tupelo.  He serves as the medical director for the Advanced Practice Clinician Fellowship Program at NMHS and Good Samaritan Health Services. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Obesity Medicine. 


He has been in Tupelo since 2013 with his wife, Themesha and son, Vincent.  He is a member of Mt Pleasant MB Church in Chesterville under the leadership of Pastor Henry L Vaughn.


He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc and Project ELECT.  He serves on the board of directors for CATCH Kids, Inc., the United Way of Northeast Mississippi and the Northeast Mississippi Coalition Against COVID 19 which he helped to found.  


The Northeast Mississippi Coalition Against COVID is a 501c3 organizing working though partners and volunteers to improve COVID vaccine access and improve the health of the community.  As a result of the work of partners and hundreds of volunteers hours, the Coalition has given over 1700 vaccines in the community since April of 2021.


Jamie Rasberry_edited.jpg

Leading the Policy Unit, Jamie manages the Education, Health and Workforce Development/Family Economic Security affinity groups that focus on increased learning, collaboration, and funding around critical policy issues. These affinity groups engage both non-profit and philanthropic partners to develop and implement strategy and public policies that produce positive impacts for children, families, and communities in Mississippi.

Jamie, a native of Kosciusko, MS has a BS in management from Belhaven University and a Masters in Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. With a 20 year history working in healthcare she has held roles in corporate social responsibility, national strategic partnerships and government relations. Over the last 15 years she has invested in many organizations around the Jackson metro area with a focus on health and wellness, social justice, community development and youth leadership.

Jamie served on the board of the I.S. Sanders YMCA, Midtown Public Charter School and has given countless hours of her time to support many local nonprofits with fundraising and volunteering. She is an alumni in the WKKF Community Leadership Network and a graduate of Leadership Greater Jackson class of 2010-2011.


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M. Shane Spees is the president and Chief Executive Officer of North Mississippi Health Services.  He came to Tupelo from Baptist Health System in Birmingham, where he served as president and CEO from 2007-2013.  He previously worked in Texas, where he was president from 2004-2007 of Valley Baptist Hospital Holdings, Inc., which serves the Rio Grande Valley, and senior vice president and chief executive officer of Valley Baptist Medical center in Harlingen, all of which are part of Valley Baptist Health System.  Mr. Spees held several leadership roles within the Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, which serves the greater Houston area and much of Southeast Texas, from 1995-2004.


He received his master’s degree in health care administration from the University of Houston at Clear Lake in 1997, where he was recognized for academic and leadership excellence and received the Distinguished Alumni Award.  Mr. Spees graduated from the University of Mississippi with a bachelor of public administration degree in 1992 and from the University of Mississippi School of Law with his law degree in 1995. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1995.