Epstein Health Law and Policy

The Epstein Health Law and Policy Program promotes cutting-edge research, policy analysis, and public service/public engagement on critical issues in health care; fosters collaboration between scholars focused on health law and policy; and facilitates collaboration among government leaders, practitioners, and academic researchers on issues of increasing complexity. The Program faculty partner with other universities, both domestic and abroad, on a variety of research projects.

The Program has established partnerships with various units on the Urbana-Champaign campus, including the College of Medicine, the Department of Community Health, and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs for various research and public service projects.


Richard L. Kaplan – Guy Raymond Jones Chair in Law

Affiliated Faculty

Rummana Alam – Teaching Associate Professor
Yulanda Curtis – Associate Clinical Professor, Veterans Legal Clinic Director
Pia Hunter – Teaching Associate Professor, Law Library
Dr. Robert Cranston, MD, MA, MSHA, FAAN – Carle Ethics Committee, and Associate Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine
Jennifer Hardesty – Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Margaret Browne Huntt – Assistant Director for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer, Cancer Center at Illinois
Brian Ogolsky – Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies
Ruby Mendenhall – Professor in Sociology, African American Studies, Urban and Regional Planning, and Social Work

Advisory Board

Kurt Leifheit – Associate General Counsel at The Carle Foundation

Student Organizations and Activities

Health and Elder Law Society

Founding Health Law Alumni Mentoring Program

Current alumni mentors in the program are:

  • Catrina Miksis ’16, Prairie State Legal Services
  • Mark Scott ’15, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP
  • Ashley E. Dus ’16, Donohue Brown Mathewson & Smyth LLC
  • Breanna Taylor ’16, Wicker Smith O’Hara McCoy & Ford
  • Chris DeGrande ’16, McGuire Woods LLP
  • Kurt Leifheit, Carle Foundation Hospital
  • Greg Rastatter ’03, UnityPoint Health
  • Amanda Ray ’18, The Advis Group
  • Daniel Walbright ’17, Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP
  • Sarah Ahmed, McGuireWoods LLP

Program Events

Naomi Cahn addresses the College of Law community during her September 2017 lecture.

Symposium on Health Law & Policy

The Medicalization of Poverty Symposium aims to bring together experts in medicine, law, policy, and ethics to explore the connection between poverty, disease burden, and healthcare expenditures. It is well documented that a number of diseases are strongly linked to poverty, and poverty is a strong predictor of health status. But a second aspect of poverty is less well-explored—that we have medicalized poverty. We spend inordinate amounts of money and other resources to address healthcare needs brought on by poverty instead of providing for the tangible needs of the poor before illness strikes. We treat the symptom, not the problem. This gathering is to consider “How can we do better? And what role can law and policy play?”

Health Law and Policy Conversation Series

The Epstein Health Law & Policy Program regularly sponsors conversations with scholars in the field of health law. These conversations center on tough issues and range from the wide lens of healthcare status to the social determinants of health. 

Conversations With the Author

The Epstein Health Law & Policy Program regularly hosts conversations with the authors of works that focus on health law on the occasion of the publication of their new books. Our featured authors have topped the New York Times best seller list, been featured in the book review section of the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other national pages. These authors spotlight issues ranging from women’s reproductive health to elder care to the interplay between modern medicine and religious beliefs. Past authors have included Michelle Oberman, Amy Ziettlow, and Paul Offit, MD.

Roundtable Discussions on Pressing Questions in Health Care

The Roundtable Discussions on Pressing Questions in Health Care is a series of collaborative conversations with faculty around the country.