A note from UH Law Center Dean Ray Nimmer
Vol. 5 No. 6
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Dean Ray Nimmer
Health law has been one of the cornerstone programs at the Law Center for decades – and the gifted management team of our Health Law & Policy Institute promises to build on our heritage of excellence in this fast-changing area of the law.  Here is a snapshot of the outstanding team charged with unraveling the complex issues surrounding health law and policy:

Dr. William J. Winslade has been appointed the director of our Institute.  He has a long association with the Law Center, having served on our faculty since 1986 and serving as co-director of the Institute and director of our LL.M. program in health law.   Dr. Winslade also is the James Wade Rockwell Professor of Philosophy in Medicine at the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.  His academic and professional background includes a Ph.D. in philosophy from Northwestern University, a J.D. from UCLA Law School, a Ph.D. in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute, and an Honorary D.H.L. from Monmouth College.  Much of his scholarly work explores the philosophic, legal and psychoanalytic threads that connect science, medicine, technology and the law.  His books include Confronting Traumatic Brain Injury: Devastation, Hope and Healing (Yale University Press) and the co-authored Clinical Ethics: A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions in Clinical Medicine.  Other writings include numerous articles on topics such as privacy and confidentiality, human rights, death and dying, and the legal and ethical aspects of mental health practice.

Barbara Evans, one of the first professors I recruited to the Law Center, is one of the two co-directors of the Institute.  She is emerging as a national force in biotechnology and the law, and the prestigious Greenwall Foundation has just named her a Faculty Scholar in Bioethics and will fund her ongoing research on governance models for large, interoperable health data networks and the ethics of large-scale observational research.  Barbara has also been appointed to the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Public Health Effectiveness of the 510(k) Clearance Process and is serving on the multidisciplinary panel for a National Cancer Institute-funded study – Protecting Privacy in Health Research – which is exploring ways to implement HIPAA Privacy Rule reforms proposed by the IOM in 2009. She continues to be heavily involved in the policy debate surrounding FDA’s Sentinel System and is serving on the three-member Privacy Panel for the Mini-Sentinel pilot project that is being implemented by Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Institute under contract with FDA.  Her degrees include a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Texas, a Ph.D. from Stanford and a J.D. from Yale.

Jessica Lind Mantel is joining the Law Center as a co-director of our Institute, and she is one of the two key new additions to our health law faculty.  She previously served as a senior attorney in the Office of the General Counsel for the Department of Health and Human Services, where she advised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on legal issues dealing with Medicare matters, including implementation of the prescription drug payment, hospital payments, incentive payments for the adoption of electronic health records, and health care reform.  She is a widely published legal scholar (her most recent article, on healthcare rationing, is forthcoming in the UCLA Law Review), and her research interests focus on the impact of various legislative and regulatory schemes on emerging trends in the health care delivery system and the allocation of limited health care resources.  She holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and an M.P.P. from the University of Michigan School of Public Policy.

The second key addition to our health law program is Jessica L. Roberts.  (Both she and Jessica Mantel were pursued by a number of top schools during this hiring season, and it’s a testament to the strength of our Health Law & Policy Institute that both of these accomplished professors elected to join the Law Center faculty.)  Professor Roberts focuses her research on the theoretical implications of health law reform, the formation of genetic identity, and the antidiscrimination protection of genetic information.  Her recent work on the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act includes law review articles at Vanderbilt and Notre Dame.   After graduating from Yale Law School in 2006, she clerked for the Honorable Dale Wainwright of the Texas Supreme Court and the Honorable Roger L. Gregory of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va.  She previously held teaching positions at City University of New York and Columbia Law School. 

FYI, Seth Chandler, who previously served as a co-director of the Institute, is launching a Center for Law & Computation at the Law Center.  This new center of excellence capitalizes on his research interests, and we wish him much success in expanding computation’s role in the study of law, networks, linguistics, finance, statistics and economics.  

We have every reason to anticipate big things from our Health Law & Policy Institute under the direction of Dr. Winslade and co-directors Barbara Evans and Jessica Lind Mantel, assisted by Jessica Roberts and Research Director Patricia Gray’s team of Ron Scott, Craig Conway and Cynthia Marietta.  The successes recorded by our Institute will prove beneficial not only for the Law Center community, but also for our society as a whole. 

RTN

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