NH Medical Society Issues Two-part Challenge to Presidential Candidates

January 28, 2015

NH Medical Society Issues Two-part Challenge to Presidential Candidates

Organizers aim to raise awareness of policy stances and support a healthier New Hampshire, one “jacket flip” at a time

As the First in the Nation Primary approaches, the NH Medical Society issued a challenge to the 2016 presidential candidates. The first part of the challenge asks candidates to address four core questions related to the health and wellbeing of Granite State citizens. The second tests candidates’ dexterity through a prominent gesture that has its roots in the Medical Society’s history and more recently, to the well-known television political drama, The West Wing.

The four healthcare questions focus on candidates’ positions on treatment of addiction, affordable quality healthcare, the cost of prescription drugs, and marijuana legalization. Over the past weeks, NH Medical Society staff contacted candidates by mail and e-mail, and in the coming weeks, their responses will be shared with New Hampshire physicians and the public prior to the primary election on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. The information will help better inform the New Hampshire healthcare sector of the candidates’ policy positions on these issues. Several candidates have already responded, and their responses will be posted on nhms.org on a rolling basis starting on Monday, February 1.

The second part of the challenge will identify who can master the ‘jacket flip,’ a unique way of donning a suit jacket or sport coat, made famous by Josiah (Jed) Bartlett, the President of the United States in TV’s The West Wing. The show has ties to the NH Medical Society through Dr. Josiah Bartlett, who founded the Society in 1791. He was an original signer of the Declaration of Independence and was also New Hampshire’s first constitutionally elected governor. In The West Wing, Josiah’s fictitious direct descendent is Jed Bartlett, who was born in Manchester, New Hampshire, was governor of the state, and was a three-term congressman before he ascended to the presidency. See a supercut of jacket flips by Martin Sheen (as President Jed Bartlett) at nhms.org.

“In New Hampshire, we have a unique opportunity to challenge our presidential candidates every four years. We’re looking forward to their feedback on important health-related issues facing the Granite State today and to sharing those responses with the medical community and the public,” said James Potter, executive vice president of the NH Medical Society. “We also wanted to have a little fun with the presidential primary and the unique political and historical connection our organization has that goes back to our founding fathers,” he added.

The Medical Society is also rolling out a new way for citizens and medical professionals to support a healthier New Hampshire.

Jacket flip videos can be shared on The Medical Society’s YouTube channel through the date of the First in the Nation Primary. But the challenge is not limited to presidential candidates. All are welcome to attempt the Bartlett jacket flip, post their results via video, and challenge others to do so as well, or donate to the Dr. Josiah Bartlett Fund.

“As a not-for-profit organization committed to the betterment of public health, jacket flip contributions to the Dr. Josiah Bartlett Fund will support local substance abuse treatment centers to help New Hampshire families in need of assistance or care,” Potter said. “Through our efforts, we’ll help raise awareness about key policy initiatives, grow resources for New Hampshire families, and even have a little fun along the way.”

To submit or view jacket flip videos, visit NH Medical Society’s YouTube channel or post via Facebook or Twitter.

About New Hampshire Medical Society

The New Hampshire Medical Society (NHMS) is a non-profit organization with over 2,200 licensed physicians, medical residents, and medical students in the state of New Hampshire. NHMS is dedicated and committed to representing the medical profession as a whole—advocating for patients, physicians, the medical profession and health related rights, responsibilities and issues for the betterment of public health.