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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy Offers Impressive Opportunities

In just three years, the Consortium has built broad programs and partnerships with various schools at UCSF.

The UCSF/UC Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy was founded three years ago and has built a broad array of programs and opportunities for faculty, staff, and students at UC Hastings and UCSF. The Consortium is devoted to developing programs and partnerships in three general areas: Education, Research, and Clinical Service. It has advanced on all three fronts, with considerable success. Highlights include:

Education
The Consortium has developed and sustained educational programs designed to foster improved interdisciplinary collaboration including:

  • JD Concentration in Law & Health Science, with a certificate for UCSF students attending the core Concentration Seminar
  • Course Cross-Registration for UC Hastings and UCSF students
  • Master of Studies in Law program for health professionals who desire an in-depth knowledge of the law but who do not require the three-year JD degree, which was recently expanded to other professionals in business and technology
  • In development: a Master of Science in Health Policy & Law, a jointly-conferred degree by UCSF and UC Hastings for individuals seeking to be leaders in health policy
  • A Grand Rounds series featuring cutting-edge work from scholars at UCSF and UC Hastings
  • A summer workshop series designed to support the work of Consortium interns and fellows. The Consortium has used grant funding to hire 30 interns and recent graduates since 2009 (the vast majority of which were UC Hastings students or alumni) to work on cutting-edge research projects.
  • Annual conferences such as the "From Bench to Society: Law and Ethics at the Frontier of Genomic Technology" conference and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics Annual Health Law Professor’s Conference
  • Supporting the UC Hastings Health Law Student Organization in career development panels and other events

Research
The Consortium facilitates interdisciplinary research on a wide variety of topics and hires students and recent graduates to assist in each project. Research projects just this year included:

  • Identifying a framework for translating group data to the individual for decision makers in law and policy
  • Issuing a white paper on price transparency and provider power in the healthcare market
  • Examining federal protections for veterans concerned about privacy of genetic information
  • Identifying diverse legal and policy approaches to regulation of sugar
  • Examining the relative efficacy of class action litigation versus regulatory oversight in enforcing nurse staffing requirements in a large privately-owned skilled nursing facility chain

Clinical Training & Service
The Consortium develops and coordinates clinical programs and other opportunities for students interested in careers related to health law and health science.  

  • The Medical-Legal Partnership for Seniors, launched in August 2012, is an in-house law school clinic that gives students the opportunity to learn key lawyering skills by providing low-income elderly UCSF patients with assistance in advance planning, public benefits, and other matters. Students have the opportunity to work alongside UCSF providers and to observe their work with elderly patients. The MLPS was featured in a New York Times article in March 2013.
  • Linking students to internships and externships related to law and health science in institutions such as Covered California, California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, the Department of Health & Human Services, ChangeLabs Solutions, the San Francisco Superior Court Probate Division, National Senior Citizens Law Center, Kaiser Permanente and the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

In addition to this substantive work, the Consortium has successfully negotiated and secured an affiliation agreement with UCSF that solidifies the relationship between the two institutions and lays the groundwork for even more exciting developments to come. This agreement links UC Hastings to all four schools at UCSF – Medicine, Nursing, Dentistry, Pharmacy – as well as the Graduate Division, the Medical Center, and all research institutes of UCSF. This relationship opens up innumerable opportunities for faculty, students, and staff, which the Consortium is just beginning to mine.

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