Skip to Main Content

May 2022  Volume 16Issue 1
Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law

Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the U.S.: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives

  • May 23, 2022
  • Almeta Cooper , The AECooper Group
  • Harvey Tettlebaum , Husch Blackwell LLP

When the events following the George Floyd murder intensified discussions about diversity, equity, and inclusion, the editorial board for the Journal of Health and Life Sciences Law of the American Health Law Association (AHLA) decided to publish a special issue devoted to the “Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the United States: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives.” As co-editors of the special issue, we formed an advisory committee of diverse AHLA leaders to advise on topics that support that theme. Our special thanks to Clifford E. Barnes, Daniel E. Dawes, Kirk L. Dobbins, Gregory M. Duckett, Brent L. Henry, Lindsay P. Holmes, Kim Harvey Looney, Dot Powell-Woodson, Asha B. Scielzo, Myra C. Selby, and Gelvina Rodriguez Stevenson, each of whom took time to provide valuable input and many of whom took time to peer review draft submissions.

We issued a call for authors to submit articles that would provide an in-depth and balanced treatment of topics related to the overarching theme of health equity. There was an expectation that articles would emerge addressing such topics as the disparate adverse impact of health policy or research on communities of color; the history and reasons why the U.S. health care system has reached the current state of affairs of health inequity; social and environmental justice issues and their impact on the delivery of health care; and potential legal liability regarding the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We placed special emphasis on identifying topics reflecting diversity of thought and perspective. We were pleased to receive a generous response, and we had the difficult task of deciding which authors, topics, and proposals to accept.

Our dual goals were to assemble articles that advance public discourse about health equity and begin a serious conversation among AHLA members, the academic community, and decision makers in the legislative and executive branches of government. It was also our intention that this special issue would be the beginning of an ongoing commitment by the Journal, AHLA, and its members to elevate the discourse and integrate the multitude of issues and iterations of topics that concern health equity in future Journal issues.

We thank the members of the Journal’s editorial board, who are Susan O. Scheutzow, Editor-in-Chief, Jessica Bailey-Wheaton, Christine Dauchez, Pamela Del Negro, Douglas J. Hammer, Gerry Hinkley, Laura F. Laemmle-Weidenfeld, Scott A. Memmott, Gerard Nussbaum, Wendi Campbell Rogaliner, Michael F. Schaff, Harvey M. Tettlebaum, Jennifer Tyler, and Stephanie Lynn Williams for their support and input. Finally, we would like to thank David S. Cade, AHLA Executive Vice President & Chief Executive Officer, and especially Katherine Miller, Senior Legal Editor, Member Publications and Resources, as well as Lisa Salerno, Director of Member Publications for their support and commitment. Each of them has been valuable not only to the publication of this special issue but also to effectuate lasting change around racial injustice and to shine a light on health care disparities for AHLA, now and beyond.

We encourage the readers of this special issue to consider, as we have, our roles as health care professionals and trusted advisors who have multiple pathways to make a meaningful difference now and in the future for health equity and quality health care.

Author Profiles

Almeta E. Cooper The AECooper Group Co-Editor
Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the United States: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives

Harvey M. Tettlebaum Husch Blackwell LLP Co-Editor
Emerging Issues in Health Equity in the United States: Legal, Legislative, and Policy Perspectives