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Committee on Legislation and Advocacy

About the Committee

The AMA-MSS Committee on Legislation and Advocacy (COLA) is responsible for creating and maintaining a network of MSS schools and members to accomplish grassroots political action. COLA advances key student issues through a coordinated campaign at each national meeting as well as providing strategy, sample letters, talking points, and additional information and resources to fuel grassroots campaigns for specific MSS priority issues. This committee works with the MSS Governing Council on accomplishing specific MSS advocacy goals, both global and domestic.

Committee members

Kevin Contrera, Chair
Johns Hopkins University

Dina Marie Pitta, Vice Chair of Internal Affairs
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

Meena Thatikunta, Vice Chair of External Affairs
Northeast Ohio Medical University

Fariah Ahmad
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Blair Cushing
Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Liz Fracica
Mayo Medical School

Jason Hall
UAB School of Medicine

Kristy Hawley
The George Washington University

Hareindra Jeyamohan
Jefferson Medical College

Joy Lee
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

Josh Lesko
Eastern Virginia Medical School

Landon (Kyle)Oetjen
Washington University in St. Louis

George ('Bud')Vana
University of Vermont College of Medicine

Diana Wieser
The Ohio State University College of Medicine

Matthew Young
Harvard Medical School

Issues, Information and Resources

COLA has developed Issue Briefs and Presentations on a wide range of health policy issues, tailored to meet the needs and interests of medical students. Please feel free to distribute these materials widely. And be sure to check back often for new Issue Briefs and Presentations.

Get Involved

There are many ways you can get involved with AMA and MSS health policy legislation and advocacy efforts.

Visit the AMA's Grassroots Action Center

The AMA Grassroots Action Center, sometimes also referred to as "Capwiz," provides contact information for your elected officials, information on pending legislation of importance to physicians and the medical community, and records of your elected officials' votes on key health policy legislation. You can even send letters/emails/faxes to your elected officials letting them know how you, as a medical student and future physician, feel about the issues and their impact on the future of medicine.


The American Medical Political Action Committee (AMPAC) is the bipartisan political action committee of the American Medical Association. Its goal is to support and elect pro-medicine candidates on the federal level. Learn more about AMPAC and how you can get involved!

Apply for the Government Relations Advocacy Fellowship

Each year, the AMA Government Relations Advocacy Fellowship (GRAF) provides one medical student with the opportunity to work in the AMA's Washington, D.C., office as a full-time paid member of the AMA's Federal advocacy team. Applications are due in January.