Cameron Webb had just completed his medical and law degrees when he was accepted as a one-year White House fellow in President BarackObamas administration. Webb, who had never before worked in political circles, said hedecided to take a leap of faith.
The fellowship, which had Webb workingon the White House health care team in the Office of Cabinet Affairs,began in 2016 and carried into 2017 under the administration of a new president, Donald Trump. The transition was rocky.On his first day working for the Trump administration, the cabinet affairs deputysecretary refused to let him in the office and directed him to a desk in the hallway, he said.
I thought it would be a day or two. Two days turned into two weeks turned into two months. The entire time I was sitting at a desk in the hallway of the executive office building, Webb said.
Determined to build relationships with Trump administration officials, he was eventuallyasked to lead a White House task force on drug pricing.It was just a matter of realizing that you can build real relationships even if you dont agree all the time. And you can lean into those relationships to try to find compromise. And thats what working together looks like.
Now, Webb is running for Congress Virginias5th Congressional District. He said the fellowship showed him just how powerful it can be to leverage that legislative space to improve the health and wellbeing of folks across this country.
What he learned during the fellowship was really what put the seed there, Webb said about his run for office.
Webb, 37, is facing an uphill battle in a district that hasnt chosen a Democrat since 2008. The oddly shaped district stretches from North Carolina border going 250 miles up to Fauquier County.
The candidate is leaning on his experience as a physician and policy expert at the University of Virginia School of Medicine to consolidate support for his campaign.
Webb faces Republican candidate Bob Good, a former Liberty University athletics official and former Campbell County supervisor. He describes himself as a conservative, biblist" and ardent supporter of Trump. Good ousted incumbent Republican Rep. Denver Riggleman in a contentious Republican Party convention earlier this year.
Webbs story begins in Spotsylvania County where he grew up attending public schools along with his six siblings. His mother was a speech therapist and special education teacher at Orange County public schools, and later worked at Spotsylvania County public schools.
His father worked at the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, helping to hire federal agents and design training programs.Public service was front and center, Webb said. I think that service mentality was kind of baked into my upbringing.
Webb said his dream of becoming a doctor began at the age of 5 when his familys primary care doctor a young, African American man named Dr. Timothy Yarboroughencouraged him to dream big. In the mentorship space we say, you cant be what you dont see, and that was so important. I think it really made a difference.
By the timeWebbreached the University of Virginia as an undergraduate pre-med student in 2001, he was already looking forward to serving his community as a doctor.
Xavier Richardson, 63, a family friend, said he got to know Webb through church and saw him as someone who knew early that he wanted to serve others, said Richardson. He believes he has an obligation to society to give back.
Richardson, senior vice president and chief development officer of Mary Washington Healthcare, is also the president of the Mary Washington Hospital Foundation and Stafford Hospital Foundation.
The spark that would eventually motivate Webb to run for political office didnt take shape until his freshman year of college. Webb said that his eyes were opened during a first-year anthropology class at UVA when a young, Black UVA family doctor named Dr. Norman Oliver gave a seminar about health disparities based on race and ethnicity.
Oliver, who now serves as Virginias state health commissioner, quickly became a mentor to Webb. Oliver was one of Webbs character references when he later took the bar exam at Loyola University Chicago School of Law in 2012.
It all came from that class talking about health disparities. That was just incredibly eye opening for me, Webb said. It struck me as a social justice issue. It struck me as a civil rights issue. I think there were a lot of things that went into it, but for me, I thought that was something that I could not let stand.
During college, Webb met his now-wife Leigh-Ann Webb, who is anemergency services physician in the UVA Health system and assistant professor of emergency medicine in the UVA School of Medicine. They have two children,Avery and Lennox.
After graduating from UVA, Webb attended medical school at Wake Forest University. During his second year there, Webb founded Delivering Equal Access to Care, or DEAC, the universitys first student-run free clinic. DEAC provides primary care to underserved communities in Winston-Salem and is still thriving 13 years later.
Doctor, lawyer, then politician
The barriers to health care Webb saw firsthand as a medical student ultimately motivated him to take a break from his medical school training in 2009 to pursue a law degree, where he started to learn about public policy. His studies began just as debate erupted over the legislation that would become the Affordable Care Act.
Here I was, passionate about addressing disparities and seeing this significant legislation put together that has the potential to improve access to affordable care for everybody That certainlyopened upmy eyes to politics as a space where you can effect some real change on the healthcare front and make sure that everyone has opportunities to stay healthy, Webb said.
After returning home to Charlottesville from the White House fellowship in 2017, Webb started work as both a practicing physician at the UVA Health system and as a professor at the medical school.
Returning to his community was the final piece of the puzzle, Webb said.
I recognized that I had a unique opportunity to serve their needs, and to serve their healthcare needs, by being their representative in Washington, Webb said.
Webb entered the congressional race in August of 2019. He beat three contenders in the Democratic primary. Now, he hopes to be the first Democrat in more than a decade to represent the 5th District.
Mia Woods is the chief operating officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.
Mia Woods, 37, a family friend of the Webbs, said the news of his campaign was both surprising and not surprising to friends and family. Woods has known the family since she and Cameron Webb attended UVA together. She currently serves as the chief operating officer of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia.
Leadership has always been a part of what Cameron does, Woods said. I think that no one is surprised that he is still engaged and seeking out leadership roles,but also seeking out how to help as many people as possible beyond the front lines with his voice.
Faith was a starting point
But even after medical school, law school and a job working for the White House health care team, Webb said it wasnt an easy decision to step into the political arena. He said he looked to his Christian faith and mentors in the church to help him dig deep on why Im doing this and why this is on my heart.
My faith was a starting point for this race because I was adamant about saying, Im not going to run for Congress just to glorify myself. So, unless this is part of my purpose and how Im meant to serve people, Im not interested in doing it, Webb said.
Cameron Webbsfather-in-law Alfred Jones has served as a mentor to Webb over the years.
Webb said he turned to his father-in-law and mentor Alfred Jones, a retired pastor and current Appomattox County School Board member, for advice. Jones said he first heard that Webb was contemplating entering politics about a year and a half ago.
He told me that he was praying about it and he asked me if I would pray along with him about making that decision, Jones said.
As an elected official himself, Jones said he shared some advice with Webb. But he added that running for school board and running for Congress is like comparing apples and oranges.
The advice I shared with him was to really let people know in the 5th District that your plan is to represent everybody, not just Democrats, not just Republicans, not just independents, Jones said. And I think thats really his goal, his objective is to represent the whole 5th District.
Webb said his experience in the medical field, treating patients from all walks of life, has put him in a unique position to work across the aisle. As a physician, Webb said he doesnt pick and choose his patients, but every patient is given the highest level of care.
If we translate that into our politics. If we really move toward putting the people of our district over our partisan politics, then we get real service in the 5th Congressional District, Webb said.
Amid the partisan toxicity in Washington D.C., he sees an opportunity to be a healer.
I think one of the paths forward, to get beyond that, is to elect folks who are passionate about working with people who see the world differently than them, Webb said. And I think we have an opportunity to do that.
Read the original here:
- UMass Medical School CIO Greg Wolf receives CIO of the Year award - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Life changing moments during Match Week at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - WCVB Boston - July 1st, 2021
- Birding Their Way to the Clinic | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- TCU and UNTHSC School of Medicine Reaches Another Milestone by Receiving Provisional Accreditation - TCU - July 1st, 2021
- AIIMS races ahead of Oxford, Cambridge in rankings for best medical schools in the world - India TV News - July 1st, 2021
- Summer School Is Here - The New York Times - July 1st, 2021
- How future physicians can make their medical research stand out - American Medical Association - July 1st, 2021
- 'I no longer think there's any chance he's alive': UC alum missing after Florida condo collapse - WCPO - July 1st, 2021
- Reflecting on LGBTQ mental health discrimination in NC - North Carolina Health News - July 1st, 2021
- Radiology ranks tops among specialties with physicians worth more than $5M - Health Imaging - July 1st, 2021
- Baxter Announces $1.2 Million in New Scholarships and Grant Funding to Support Students Pursuing Health and Sciences at Historically Black Colleges... - July 1st, 2021
- Medical Education Market Giants Spending Is Going To Boom | Harvard Medical School, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College The Manomet... - July 1st, 2021
- David Cochran receives grant from Eagles Foundation to study biomarker-driven drug treatment for autism - UMass Medical School - July 1st, 2021
- Tokyo medical school won't pay staff over virus leave caused by 'inappropriate behavior' - The Mainichi - The Mainichi - February 10th, 2021
- ASU ranks 6th in research among US universities without a medical school - The State Press - February 10th, 2021
- U Of M Medical School Sees Increase In Student Applications - FOX 21 Online - February 10th, 2021
- Accreditation process of medical school in Tyler moves forward; first class likely set for 2023 - Tyler Morning Telegraph - February 10th, 2021
- Women now outnumber men in med school. And studies show thats good for patients. - Houston Chronicle - February 10th, 2021
- Medical school suspends study that would have tortured transgender people for science - LGBTQ Nation - February 10th, 2021
- Surge in African American medical school applicants drive to action by Covid - Yahoo News - February 10th, 2021
- [Full text] Is Asking Questions on Rounds a Teachable Skill?[Response to Letter] | AMEP - Dove Medical Press - February 10th, 2021
- Black doctors in white coats on a mission to cure racism and discrimination in the workplace - WCNC.com - February 10th, 2021
- UKZN sets the record straight on 'Operation Clever' probe into fraud at medical school - IOL - February 10th, 2021
- Giving health care heroes a voice on social media - American Medical Association - February 10th, 2021
- Study Reveals Anticoagulation Therapy in Intubated Covid-19 Patients Reduces Mortality | | SBU News - Stony Brook News - February 10th, 2021
- Half of Ontario's medical schools are now named after wealthy donors - The Conversation CA - December 17th, 2020
- Yes, It's Possible To Have a Baby In Medical School Here's How - Pager Publications, Inc. - December 17th, 2020
- California's medical school diversity "nowhere near where it needs to be" - State of Reform - State of Reform - December 17th, 2020
- Medical School Keeps Students on Track By Switching to Virtual and Back - The Roanoke Star - December 17th, 2020
- UT Health Austin and Dell Medical School among first facilities in Texas to receive COVID-19 vaccine - Community Impact Newspaper - December 17th, 2020
- Medical schools see spike in students inspired to apply by the pandemic - KBJR 6 - December 17th, 2020
- How to make the most of holiday time off as a medical student - American Medical Association - December 17th, 2020
- UT Austin's Dell Medical School Is The First Institution In Central Texas Receiving Shipment Of COVID-19 Vaccine - KUT - December 17th, 2020
- Degrees of Protection | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - December 17th, 2020
- The Pandemic Thrusts Telepsychiatry to the Fore | NYU Langone News - NYU Langone Health - December 17th, 2020
- Two-phase Infection | Harvard Medical School - Harvard Medical School - December 17th, 2020
- Texas A&M To Grow Medical Education In Round Rock, Surrounding Area - Texas A&M University Today - December 17th, 2020
- Pitt cardiologist sues school after backlash to his article on affirmative action - TribLIVE - December 17th, 2020
- At a Crossroads: Medicine and the Movement - Columbia University Irving Medical Center - December 17th, 2020
- Jameson's term extended as head of Penn Health System and Perelman School of Medicine - Penn Today - December 17th, 2020
- Touro University Nevada's College of Osteopathic Medicine Class of 2021 Achieves the Highest COMLEX Exam Pass Rate in the Country - PRNewswire - December 17th, 2020
- Hear what the experts from Houston Fights COVID have to say about a new vaccine - KTRK-TV - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Research and Innovation Conference set for Dec. 8 - The South End - November 30th, 2020
- 2 Corning-area natives experience COVID-19 pandemic battle on the frontlines - Star-Gazette - November 30th, 2020
- Three Yalies honored for their impact on and beyond Yale with 2020 Yale-Jefferson Awards | Yale Alumni - Yale News - November 30th, 2020
- Medical Education Market Will Hit Big Revenues In Future | Zimmer Biomet Institute, Medical Training College, Harvard Medical School - Murphy's Hockey... - November 30th, 2020
- Immelman, Griebie have mutual admiration for each other - CSB/SJU - November 30th, 2020
- Lobe Sciences Announces Launch of Preclinical Study in Collaboration with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine - Investing News Network - November 30th, 2020
- Physicians' Role in Addressing Racism in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - November 30th, 2020
- So You Traveled Over Thanksgiving. Now What? : Coronavirus Updates - NPR - November 30th, 2020
- Safely celebrating the holidays during a pandemic - KHOU.com - November 30th, 2020
- 2020 AAAS Fellows approved by the AAAS Council - Science Magazine - November 30th, 2020
- 5 ways the pandemic may transform medical education - American Medical Association - October 8th, 2020
- Trump doctor Conley degree from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine: What it means - On top of Philly news - Billy Penn - October 8th, 2020
- Students Share Medical School Details You Won't Find Anywhere Else | University of Michigan - Michigan Medicine - October 8th, 2020
- In a First, New England Journal of Medicine Joins Never-Trumpers - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Brown University Medical School Dean to Lead Second Session of Five-Part Virtual Future of Medicine Summit : SF STAT! - South Florida Hospital News - October 8th, 2020
- Human brain dissected live in front of medical school students - The Argus - October 8th, 2020
- After 40 years in medicine, here's what a Maine addiction expert has learned about alcohol, opioids and public health - Bangor Daily News - October 8th, 2020
- Trumps Lying Personal Physician And Dr. Umar Johnson Went To The Same Med School - News One - October 8th, 2020
- Study Finds Older Adults Using Cannabis to Treat Common Health Conditions - UC San Diego Health - October 8th, 2020
- U of M Medical School Researchers Found Traces Of COVID-19 On Beaches - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- My Body, Whose Choice? - The Regulatory Review - October 8th, 2020
- American Sign Language and the Power of Communication - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 8th, 2020
- Experimental COVID-19 Treatment Given To President Trump Part of Study At U of M Medical School - FOX 21 Online - October 8th, 2020
- Trump Returns Home After Downplaying Disease, but Doctor Says He Isnt Out of the Woods - The New York Times - October 8th, 2020
- Texas doctor, 28, dies of Covid: 'She wore the same mask for weeks, if not months' - The Guardian - October 8th, 2020
- Nobel awarded to Charles Rice for hepatitis C discoveries at Washington University School of Medicine Washington University School of Medicine -... - October 8th, 2020
- Warrior M.D. Chat: What to Expect - School of Medicine - Wayne State University - The South End - October 8th, 2020
- Hershey Medical Center: Celebrating 50 years of people helping people - Penn State News - October 8th, 2020
- UMass Medical School-affiliated study finds federal rule will negatively impact immigrant health care - Worcester Business Journal - October 1st, 2020
- Medical school class writes own Hippocratic Oath acknowledging racism, Covid-19 deaths and the killing of Breonna Taylor - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- Just what the doctor ordered - Isaac accepted to med school - Jamaica Gleaner - October 1st, 2020
- These medical students just wrote their own Hippocratic oath. Here's what it says. - The Daily Briefing - October 1st, 2020
- Maryland researchers identify what works to help children avoid obesity - WTOP - October 1st, 2020
- Call It What It Is in-Training, the online peer-reviewed publication for medical students - Pager Publications, Inc. - October 1st, 2020
- Medical Education market seeking excellent growth | Stanford University School of Medicine, GE Healthcare Institute, Zimmer Biomet Institute, Olympus... - October 1st, 2020
- Irregular periods linked to a greater risk of an early death, study suggests - CNN - October 1st, 2020
- This biologist helped trace SARS to bats. Now, he's working to uncover the origins of COVID-19 - Science Magazine - October 1st, 2020
- How This NYC Bill Would Address Harassment And Discrimination In Healthcare - Forbes - October 1st, 2020