Health Law Institute Celebrates 20th Anniversary
Web Editor - Published: November 4, 2009
20thAnniversarlyLogoColorNov2009235“The Health Law Certificate provided me with a basic knowledge of health law that would usually take an attorney years of practice to acquire. As counsel for a health care provider I find that my clients deal with the same issues encountered by most corporations or individuals,” says Maribel Valentin, Esq. of her experience in the program, adding, “The broad range of course choices in the Health Law Certificate program prepared me for most of the issues we face daily in the healthcare industry. I recommend the program to anyone that is interested in pursuing a career in health law.”

The Health Law Institute remains an important and vibrant part of the Widener Law community and has several important events and initiatives on the horizon. On Wednesday, November 12th, the Institute will host a reception for alumni of its Master of Jurisprudence and Doctor of Laws programs. On Thursday, November 19th, the institute will welcome Princeton University Professor and Pulitzer Price winner Paul Starr. Starr will deliver the 5th Annual Raynes McCarty Distinguished Lecture in Health Law, first at the Union League in Philadelphia at 12:30 p.m. and then at 4:00 p.m. in the Ruby R. Vale Moot Courtroom on Widener Law’s Delaware campus. On January 22 and 23, and again on March 1 and 2, the Institute will offer the two parts of its new Regulatory Compliance Program for Issues in the Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Industries. This program will be open to current and prospective compliance officers, risk managers, and attorneys seeking CLE credit.

Earlier this fall, Executive Director of Institutes Andrew J. Fichter also established the new Health Law Institute blog, Health Law Pulse. Professor Fichter joins Professor John G. Culhane, who writes on a variety of topics at Word in Edgewise, and Thaddeus M. Pope, who writes about end-of-life issues at the Medical Futility Blog, as active health law bloggers.

Established in 1989, Widener Law’s Health Law Institute celebrates its 20th Anniversary this fall. The Health Law Institute quickly established itself as an important part of Widener Law, earning the school recognition as a top institution for Health Law according to U.S News and World Report’s rankings.

The early curriculum offered by the Health Law Institute evolved as the program expanded. “I taught… what no one else was teaching,” says Laura Sunstein Murphy, who helped create the curriculum in the early years of the program and is now a practicing health law attorney in West Chester, PA.

Professor John G. Culhane, Director of the Health Law Institute since 2006, presided over the establishment of two joint degree programs with Thomas Jefferson University, the Juris Doctor/Master of Public Health and the Master of Jurisprudence/Master of Public Health.

Graduate Richard F. Levins, now the Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Independence Blue Cross says of his experience, “My matriculation through the Widener Health Law LL.M program in 1991 enabled me to broaden my understanding of the many issues facing the delivery of health care and the insurance industry. The quality of the instruction at the Health Law Institute was outstanding.”

Throughout the years, the Health Law Institute has sponsored major health law symposiums, including among others; The Doctor and the Patient in the New Health Care Economy in 1995, Current Issues in Toxic Torts in 1997, Conflicts of Interest in Clinical Research in 2001, Regulating for Patient Safety in 2005, Public Health Perspectives on Charged Legal Issues and Issues in Long-Term Care in 2007, and The Medical-Legal Partnership in spring of 2009.

Read more about the Health Law Institute and everything that it has to offer in the latest issue of the Forum.