RALEIGH (March 8, 2019) – Last night the NC Justice Center presented longtime health policy expert and advocate Pam Silberman with a Lifetime Champion of Justice Award. At the ceremony, Silberman was also awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor.
Former legislators Leslie Winner, Co-Chair of the NC Justice Center Board of Directors, and Rick Glazier, Executive Director of the NC Justice Center, presented Silberman with the dual awards.
Silberman, a Durham resident, is a professor and the director of the Executive Doctoral Program in Health Leadership in the Department of Health Policy and Management in Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill, and co-director of the MPH Health Policy concentration. Her research and advocacy on Medicaid, uninsured North Carolinians, and rural health spans multiple decades.
“Throughout her career Pam has been steadfast in pursuing her lifelong goal: all North Carolinians, no matter where they live and no matter what their financial circumstances are, should have access to the care they and their families need to stay healthy,” Winner said. “Pam has been an exemplary public servant—professional, competent, caring, and dedicated to improving the lives of all North Carolinians.”
Silberman was an instrumental part of the earliest days of the NC Justice Center. When the organization was still the NC Legal Services Resource Center, she advocated in support of health care issues at the General Assembly, successfully lobbying for legislation to expand Medicaid to cover more pregnant women, children, and working families, among other victories. Silberman worked on public benefits cases that had statewide impact, and helped develop public assistance and Medicaid policies by working with the state. In the 1990s, she saw a need for collaborative work on health reform and formed the Justice Center’s Health Access Coalition (now the Health Advocacy Project).
“Pam’s advocacy on behalf of North Carolinians with low incomes and communities with limited resources remains at the very heart of our work,” Glazier said. “She has spent her long career devoted to increasing health access for all North Carolinians and I can think of no finer recipient of this illustrious award.”