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Salus Populi:
Educating the Judiciary About the Social Determinants of Health
Judicial Education Program 

Fall 2021

Guest Speakers

Lauren Smith, MD, MPH

Lauren Smith, MD, MPH, is the chief health equity and strategy officer for the CDC Foundation. In this newly created role, Smith brings more than 25 years working at the intersection of health care delivery and management, public policy, and public health fields. 

Lia Scott, PhD, MPH

Dr. Lia Scott is an assistant professor of epidemiology in the Department of Population Health Sciences for the School of Public Health. Her general research interests include identifying the various individual, policy, social and physical environmental factors that drive social and structural inequities by combining spatial analysis, advanced statistical modeling and epidemiological methods. She aims to quantify the effect these factors have on cancer outcomes in cancers that disproportionately impact Black women, emphasizing triple-negative breast cancer.


Danya Keene, PhD:

Danya Keene is an Associate Professor of Social Behavioral Sciences at the Yale School of Public Health. Her research examines housing and housing policy as determinants of population health equity. Moving beyond a focus on housing and individual health, her work considers how an ongoing history of racially discriminatory housing and urban policies have constrained housing access for non-white Americans, and thus contribute to racial health equity.


John Auerbach, MBA:

John Auerbach is the Director of Intergovernmental and Strategic Affairs at CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). As such, he is the lead strategic advisor on CDC engagement with the government agencies at the federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial levels, public health partners, and other external partners. Within the agency, he assists the Director in the development of priority initiatives. Over the course of a thirty-year career, he has held senior public health positions at the federal, state, and local levels.

Guest Facilitators

Hon. Jay Blitzman:

Judge Blitzman is an associate justice of the Middlesex Juvenile Court. Prior to his appointment in 1996, he was a founder and the first director of the Youth Advocacy Project (YAP), a community based legal services organization in Roxbury, Mass.

Todd Brower:

Todd Brower, LL.M., J.D., is the Judicial Education Director for the Williams Institute. He has worked with the courts of several nations in Europe, Africa, and North and South America, with many U.S. states and federal agencies, and with international and national judicial organizations creating and teaching judicial education programs.

Robert B. Foster:

Robert B. Foster was appointed as a Justice of the Massachusetts Land Court in 2011. Before joining the bench, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable Herbert P. Wilkins of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, and practiced with Rackemann, Sawyer & Brewster in real estate, land use, commercial and probate litigation.

Beth Gillia:

Beth Gillia, JD, is the Center Director & Senior Attorney at the Corinne Wolfe Center for Child and Family Justice, which provides training and resources to professionals and volunteers who work in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice systems in New Mexico.

Hon. Elizabeth Katz:

Elizabeth D. Katz is a federal bankruptcy judge on the United States bankruptcy court, District of Massachusetts. Her legal career began at the Office of the Attorney General in Boston upon her graduation from law school. In 1995, Attorney Katz became an assistant district attorney at the Northwestern District Attorney's Office in Northampton, where she worked until 2007. Upon her departure, Attorney Katz was the Chief of the Hampshire County and Franklin County District Courts Divisions.


Ellen Lawton

Ellen Lawton, JD is a national expert in the integration of legal professionals into the health care setting to address the social determinants of health. She helped found and then led the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership at George Washington University.

Salus Populi Staff 

Wendy E. Parmet, JD:

Wendy E. Parmet is the faculty director of the Center for Health Policy and Law, and Matthews Distinguished University Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. She is a leading expert on health, disability and public health law, directs the law school’s Center for Health Policy and Law as well as its JD/MPH programs. She also holds a joint appointment with Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs in recognition of her national leadership in interdisciplinary thinking and problem solving on issues related to health care.

Alisa Lincoln, PhD, MPH:

Alisa K. Lincoln, Associate Dean of Research for the College of Social Sciences and Humanities and Professor of Health Sciences and Sociology at Northeastern University, is the director of the Institute for Health Equity and Social Justice Research. Her research examines the way that social exclusion and marginalization both contributes to and is a consequence of poor health, and specifically mental health. She examines questions related to social factors and their relationships with mental health and mental health services focusing on how social disadvantage impacts people’s mental health and their experiences and outcome in mental health care.  

Faith Khalik, JD:

Faith Khalik is the Center for Health Policy and Law's Legal Fellow, responsible for overseeing the Public Health Law Watch, a collaborative initiative between the Center for Health Policy and Law and the George Consortium, a network of academics, scholars, and practitioners in the field of public health law. The Public Health Law Watch (PHLW) identifies potential legislative and regulatory changes that have the potential to impact public health. PHLW's main goal is to increase visibility and understanding of public health law issues and changes, identify ways to engage on these issues, and provide legal analysis and commentary. 

Alexandra Alden:

Alexandra Alden is currently a medical sociology doctoral candidate at Northeastern University, studying state efforts to improve racial and ethnic equity in mental healthcare.

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