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May 2, 2024

Recorded at the NewDEAL Forum Ideas Summit in Phoenix, AZ, this week’s episode features infectious disease doctor and Iowa State Representative Megan Srinivas. She and co-host Ryan Coonerty talk about her journey as the child of immigrants in a small Iowa town, to a life changing visit to Kenya, to Harvard, and back to Iowa home to represent disadvantaged communities. They discuss her storytelling strategies to create a middle ground on key issues like abortion and why medical professionals are well-positioned to run for office. Srinivas also explains how she embraces the diverse experiences of Iowans to align her messaging on key policy issues with people’s needs. Tune in to learn about her big policy ideas rooted in her unique background and how she balances her medical and legislative duties.


• [01:06] An introduction to Iowa Representative Dr. Megan Srinivas and what motivates her to
work in the legislature while practicing medicine.

• [05:30] Her work to improve the Prior Authorization policy in the form of a bipartisan bill.
• [07:42] A trip to rural Kenya that transformed how she relates to others.

• [09:17] Formative experiences that sparked Dr. Srivas’s interest in global health and policy.

• [13:02] Applying global practices to rural Iowa by adopting a broader interpretation of

• [16:42] Reframing key policies in order to create a middle ground with those who disagree.

• [19:38] Iowa’s identity as a Purple State and what it takes to connect with Iowans.

• [22:35] Predictions for 2024 and the messaging necessary to move the needle.

• [24:45] Advice for healthcare practitioners who might want to run for office.

• [26:01] How being a medical professional has helped Dr. Srinivas to build relationships.

• [29:23] The dearth of mental health support and facilities in Iowa and what needs to change.

• [31:46] Why there is an education crisis in Iowa and how this could be solved.

• [33:22] How Dr. Srinivas chooses to focus her energy in order to enact change.