University of Pittsburgh

Pitt Law Faculty Member Awarded Fellowship to Promote Public Health Law Education

Publish Date/Time: 
March 6, 2014


Georgia State University College of Law and its Center for Law Health & Society have selected 10 faculty fellows from around the country to participate in the Future of Public Health Law Education Faculty Fellowship Program. One of the award recipients is Pitt Law adjunct professor, Elizabeth Bjerke. Bjerke teaches Public Health Law at Pitt Law and is also assistant professor with the Pitt Department of Health Policy and Management at the Graduate School of Public Health. With the 10 fellows, Bjerke will help create a practice-based course related to preventive services under the Affordable Care Act.

Professor Bjerke is a frequent lecturer on emergency preparedness law. Her recent and current projects include researching the public health system with respect to emergency preparedness and response, integrating traditional legal analysis with social networking principles, analyzing hydraulic fracturing’s environmental impacts, co-authoring the Pennsylvania Public Health Law Bench Book, and investigating laws governing infectious diseases outbreaks as part of the University of Pittsburgh’s MIDAS National Center of Excellence. Previously, she was an attorney specializing in litigation with the United States Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. and with Thompson & Knight in Dallas, Texas.

According to a Georgia State College of Law press release, the Future of Public Health Law Education Faculty Fellowship Program is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to foster innovations and build a learning community among those who teach public health law at professional and graduate schools. In addition to the 10 fellows, five nationally renowned faculty members will serve as mentors in the program. One of the mentors selected is Pitt Law Professor Mary Crossley.

The fellows, their mentors, along with deans, distinguished public health practitioners and leading legal education experts will participate in an intensive 10-day summer institute in July in Park City, Utah, to kick off the program. The fellows and mentors will communicate regularly throughout the year as the fellows implement their curricular innovations, according to the press release.

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