Health Law & Policy Institute



The Health Law & Policy Institute is committed to research and is actively engaged in the study of health issues affecting the state and nation. Each biennium since 1991, the Texas Legislature has appropriated special item funding to the Institute to study important issues of Health Law & Policy. The Institute's studies on such issues as medicare part d, early childhood development, constituent communcations, occupational injury and illness, nonfinancial barriers to health care, and family violence and the health care system have helped to set the stage for legislative action. E-mail us at for information about ordering these studies.

The Health Law & Policy Fellowship Program

The Health Law & Policy Fellowship Program is an important component of the Institute's research activities. Fellows are typically law school graduates with Health Law & Policy expertise who provide staff support for members of the Texas Legislature serving on health law-related committees.

Cancer Publications

In addition to its research for the Texas Legislature , the Institute has worked with other entities, such as the Texas Cancer Council , the National Institutes of Health , and the U.S. Department of Energy, on major research projects.

From 1996 to 1999, the Institute coordinated the activities of the Texas Cancer Council's Managed Care Steering Committee, including furnishing speakers, tracking health care legislation at the local and national level, and providing the Committee with legal and policy research and briefing papers on a variety of issues related to managed care and cancer. The Institute monitored the development of Independent Review Organizations and health plan report cards. The Institute worked with the Committee on the development of three employer- and consumer-oriented publications: "Small Employers Guide to Health Care Plans" "Cancer and the Law: 1998" " Choosing a Health Care Plan"

The Institute was also involved in a project that profiled local tobacco worksite ordinances in the absence of state policy regulation. University of Houston researchers surveyed 201 municipalities in Texas and analyzed their ordinances regulating exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. See the PowerPoint summary.



The Houston Journal of Health Law & Policywas established in 1999 with the mission to provide a scholarly forum for the interdisciplinary exploration of the full range of Health Law & Policy issues. The Journal is dedicated to publishing the nation's preeminent peer-reviewed journal devoted exclusively to Health Law & Policy issues; thus all articles are subjected to a rigorous peer review process by experts in the field. Prior to the Journal's establishment at the Law Center, the Houston Law Reviewpublished the symposium companion issue to the Health Law & Policy Institute's annual lecture. The Journal has assumed responsibility for these symposia issues and will publish all symposia issues starting after December 2000. The Journal will publish two hardbound issues each year. The fall issue will contain both professional and student authored articles while the spring issue will be the symposia issue based on the Institute's lecture. The first journal volume will be released Summer 2001 as the companion to the Health Law & Policy Institute's Symposium on Children's Health. The Symposium featured Marian Wright Edelman, J.D., Children's Defense Fund President, and was co-sponsored by Jenkens & Gilchrist, P.C., Texas Children's Hospital, and the Children's Museum of Houston. For subscription information, please contact Managing Editor Ms. Jennifer Smith. For information regarding article submissions, please contact Editor in Chief Ms. Adria Conklin at:

University of Houston Law Center
Health Law & Policy Institute
Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy
100 Law Center
Houston, Texas 77204-6060
Telephone: 713-743-0768
Facsimile: 713-743-2217

See Institute Establishes Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy.

Health Law PerspectivesHealth Law Perspectives and Health Law News

The Health Law News, published quarterly, contains news and feature stories about health law and the activities of the Institute. To get on the mailing list for Health Law News, email The Institute prepares legal analyses of contemporary health law issues, which are available on the web site in Health Law Perspectives. Also, the Institute publishes a monthly Update on Health for the Texas Legislature and other state officials, summarizing key developments in federal and state agencies, courts, and other sources of importance to Texas lawmakers.


The Institute has sponsored a variety of lectures and conferences.

In March 2004, the Health Law & Policy Institute hosted a pioneering educational program intended to bridge the gaps and build relationships of trust between these actors in the public health arena. The conference, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Public Health Law Program, the Texas Department of Health, the Health Law Section of the Houston Bar Association, and others, was a pilot program to be used by the CDC as a model for other states. For local health care attorneys and public health lawyers, the conference provided education about ways in which they can help their clients achieve greater preparedness for the legal and practical ramifications of a public health emergency in their communities.

James Sheehan

The Jenkens & Gilchrist Lecture 2002 featured James Sheehan, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Civil Trial Division, U.S. Attorney's Office, Philadelphia. Mr. Sheehan spoke on "Fraud Issues in Biotechnology, Research Product Development and Marketing."

Marian Wright Edelman
Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), presented the Jenkens and Gilchrist Lecture 2001. Her topic was Children's Health Needs for the Coming Years.

Dick Thornburgh
Dick Thornburgh

Dick Thornburgh, former Pennsylvania Governor and Attorney General for the Bush and Reagan Administrations, presented "The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Retrospective" as the Health Law & Policy Institute's Gardere Wynne Sewell & Riggs Lecture 2000. Governor Thornburgh was U.S. Attorney General when the ADA was signed into law ten years earlier.

David A. Kessler
David Kessler

David A. Kessler, M.D., J.D., dean of the Yale University School of Medicine and former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), delivered the Health Law & Policy Institute's Gardere & Wynne Lecture 1999. The topic was "Regulation of Tobacco: Health Promotion and Cancer Prevention."
The Health Law & Policy Institute has sponsored interdisciplinary conferences on a wide range of topics. Conferences have included:

Health Care Quality in an Age of Cost Cutting;Health Care for an Aging Society;Mental Health in the 1990s;Legal and Ethical Issues Raised by the Human Genome Project;New Challenges in Occupational Health;Nonfinancial Barriers to Health Care; andFamily Violence and the Health Care System.

The Institute also has sponsored health law updates for federal judges, and has hosted the National Health Law Teachers Conference in 1987 and 1998.