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Joanne R. Lax Recognized as the New IDEA Champion Award Recipient by AHLA

  • December, 14, 2023

Washington, D.C. — AHLA proudly announces Joanne R. Lax as the recipient of the 2023 IDEA Champion Award for her outstanding contributions to fostering inclusivity in the health law profession. 

The IDEA Champion Award is given to an individual who demonstrates commitment to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) in AHLA and the health law profession.     

“No one is more deserving than Joanne to be the inaugural recipient of this award,” said Patricia A. Markus, President of AHLA. “Joanne is always looking for opportunities to embed diversity and inclusivity in health law. She is an ambassador of equity and has made a lasting impact on our community.” 

Lax, an AHLA member since 2000, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to promoting inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility throughout her extensive service to the Association. Notably, she served as Chair of the Membership, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee from 2020 to 2022, playing a pivotal role in reimagining AHLA's Awards and Recognition Program to enhance openness and inclusivity. Under her leadership, AHLA collaborated with specialty bar associations, fostering unity and representation within the legal community. 

Lax's impact extends beyond association initiatives; as an attorney who is visually impaired, she has been a trailblazer in championing inclusion. Her leadership and planning led to AHLA hosting a groundbreaking virtual Roundtable in May 2021. The Inclusion of People with Disabilities in the Delivery of Legal Services brought together decision-makers, diversity officers, and general counsel to discuss how to better serve disabled clients. Joanne's personal perspective and heartfelt insights during this event reflected her dedication to creating an inclusive legal environment. 

In addition to her service to AHLA, Lax has been a steadfast advocate for underserved populations throughout her legal career, representing diverse individuals in need of end-of-life care, those with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ couples seeking to become adoptive parents. Her commitment to equity and eliminating disparities is evident in her representation and advocacy for those seeking access to equal opportunities and resources. 

The IDEA Award is a testament to Lax's extraordinary contributions to fostering a more inclusive and diverse health law community. AHLA celebrates her dedication and leadership, recognizing her as a beacon for positive change in the legal profession. A celebration recognizing Lax’s contributions will be held during Health Law Week, January 8-12, 2024. Details are forthcoming. 


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