MSDCI at WVU is a student-led organization committed to providing a supportive space for disabled, chronically ill, and neurodivergent students and their allies so that we can use our collective power to improve access to medical education for disabled students, decrease the prevalence of ableism in medicine, and foster ties with the local disability community. Through these actions we hope to decrease ableism in medicine and promote disability pride and health justice within our communities.

From MSDCI's national website:

Founded in 2019, MSDCI unites and empowers medical students with disability and/or chronic illness through advocacy, mentorship, education, and community building while using our collective power towards advancing the improvement of healthcare for the disabled community. Through partnerships and alliances with disability organizations, disability researchers, and our chapters, we are committed to increasing disability inclusion and representation in healthcare.

MSDCI includes healthcare trainees with disabilities and chronic illnesses as well as their allies. We welcome medical students and allied health professionals of all backgrounds and intersectional identities. We strive to promote social justice and health equity in all of our endeavors.

MSDCI is actively opposed to ableism and prejudice and discrimination of any kind. Members are expected to be respectful, empathetic, and just. All members of MSDCI are responsible for upholding and protecting a respectful space for students with disability and/or chronic illness.

MSDCI currently has chapters at over 35 medical schools across the country.


Activities and Events:

- disability culture events
- disability day of mourning art installation
- collaborative events with other student clubs
- disability speakers
- improving access to accommodations
- monthly meetings



Waylon Henggeler
Hibba Chaudhry
Vice President
Sarah DeFazio
Christina Markopoulos
Court Lanham
Alexa Lenz
Advocacy Chair
Interdisciplinary Liaison
Abigail Roop


Article I -- Name
1. The official name of this organization shall be the Medical Students with Disability and Chronic Illness, hereafter abbreviated as MSDCI.
2. MSDCI is an official chapter of Medical Students with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses National (MSDCI National).
Article II--Purpose
This Organization shall be guided by the following general principles:
- To advocate for a medical field that is inclusive to care providers with disabilities and chronic illnesses, and to empower people with disabilities and chronic illnesses to pursue careers in the field of medicine.
- To educate future healthcare workers on the experiences of people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, with an aim to promote the dignity, agency, and individuality of each person’s lived experience.
- To promote the dissemination of information relative to disability issues in the field of medical education.
- To explore and possibly resolve the unique challenges, obstacles, and responsibilities specific to medical students and physicians with disabilities and/or chronic illness.
- To provide opportunities for disabled and chronically ill medical students to learn about and give back to local communities through service.
- To represent people with disabilities and chronic illnesses within the health care community at West Virginia University.
- To be a resource for information on matters related to disability and chronic illness.
- To provide a forum for discussion of issues concerning the health and rights of people with disabilities and chronic illnesses.
- To support intersectional advocacy efforts at West Virginia University.

Article III--General Nature of the Constitution
1. MSDCI is established as an Organization by this Constitution.
2. MSDCI shall conduct itself according to the provisions of this Constitution, the regulations of West Virginia University, the regulations of MSDCI National, and the laws of the United States.
Article IV--Membership
1. The General Membership of MSDCI shall consist of graduate students and faculty who are affiliated with West Virginia University’s Health Sciences Center and who are interested in issues related to disability, chronic illness, and health care.
2. MSDCI will not deny membership on the basis of race, color, sex, gender, sexual orientation, religion, national or ethnic origin, or ability or illness status.

Article V--Officers
1. MSDCI shall have six permanent officers: a President, a Vice President, a Treasurer, a Secretary, an Advocacy Chair, and an Interdisciplinary Liaison.
2. The permanent officers shall hold equal power and responsibility while maintaining specific and separate duties outlined below:
a) The President and Vice President will function as co-chairs. The co-chairs coordinate the functional activities of the group. They see to elections and the selection of future officers; see to holding meetings at least once per quarter; see to the efficient execution of duties by other officers; see to maintaining registration with the West Virginia School of Medicine and the National Leadership of MSDCI; see to creating announcements and advertisements for events; see to reserving spaces for events, and preparing spaces for the event including tables, chairs, etc.
b) The Secretary is responsible for record keeping and logistical organization of the group. They see to maintaining the email list for the group; coordinate record keeping and logistics management for the group; see to recording events.
c) The Treasurer is responsible for coordinating the financial activities of the group. They see to timely reimbursement of group members for expenses; serve as a record keeper of all financial transactions in compliance with WVU regulations; submit refunding forms and treasurer paperwork; carry out at least one fundraising project per year; assist the President with activities as above.
d) The Advocacy Chair is responsible for overseeing the advocacy component of MSDCI. They see to the development of at least one advocacy related project per year that is in alignment with MSDCI’s goals.
e) The Interdisciplinary Liaison is responsible for fostering ties between MSDCI and the other health sciences departments and/or related undergraduate departments. They see to the development of at least one interdisciplinary project per year that is in alignment with MSDCI's goals.
f) The following responsibilities will be shared equally among the permanent officers: delegating temporary projects and responsibilities, coordinating votes on special issues/events, holding final accountability for the functioning of the Organization.
3. To be eligible for any of the Manager offices, a member must be a student who is currently matriculated in the West Virginia University School of Medicine.
4. The permanent officers shall be selected in a general election, to be held annually.
5. The permanent officers shall serve for terms of one year.
6. No person may hold more than one office at a time.

Article VI--Faculty Advisor
1. MSDCI shall have one officially-designated Faculty Advisor.
2. The Faculty Advisor shall be consulted regularly to discuss and evaluate ongoing and future activities of MSDCI.
3. The selection of the Faculty Advisor shall be done in the following manner:
a. The permanent officers may nominate any member of the faculty of the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center.
b. Members must be properly notified of the nomination and the time and place of the confirmation vote for selecting the Faculty Advisor.
c. Confirmation of the nominee must be approved by three-quarters vote of those present.
4. The Faculty Advisor may be replaced at any time in the manner outlined above, but otherwise may serve a term of indefinite length, or until the Advisor chooses to step down.

Article VII--General Meetings
Leader Meetings shall be held at least once every month during the academic year for the purpose of determining policies, schedules, and other official business and should be publicized appropriately.
General Meetings shall be held at least twice a semester for the purpose of engaging club members and determining policy.
Meetings may be held in-person or virtually, or through a hybrid model.

Article VIII--Voting
The power to vote shall be accorded to members who fulfill one of the following criteria:
1. Attendance at least two meetings during the current or previous academic year
2. Possession, past or present, of an elected position within the organization.

Article IX--Amendments
Once ratified, the Constitution may be amended only in the following manner:
1. Amendments to the Constitution must be proposed by a member at a General Meeting.
2. All members must be properly notified of the proposed amendment and the time and place for the scheduled vote, at least 3 days prior to the vote.
3. Final approval of the proposed amendment must be passed by three-quarters vote of those present at the General Meeting.
4. Once approved, the amended Constitution will be retained by the chapter and provided to MSDCI National for record keeping.

Article X--Chapter Compliance
MSDCI shall adhere to all chapter reporting responsibilities and follow all chapter expectations in concordance with guidelines set by MSDCI National.
MSDCI shall not engage in behavior contradicting/in conflict with the charter/spirit of MSDCI National or that represent MSDCI in a negative manner.