Wendy Parmet01.03.19 — Professor Wendy Parmet, a nationally recognized expert on health, disability and public health law and faculty director of the law school’s Center for Health Policy and Law, is being honored today with the 2019 Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Section on Law, Medicine and Health Care’s Health Law Community Service Award. According to the section, “Professor Parmet has dedicated countless hours to ensuring health care access to the most vulnerable.”

Parmet’s record of community and professional service over the years has included roles with the Public Health Law Association, the American Bar Association’s AIDS Coordinating Committee and the ABA Commission of Mental and Physical Disability Law. She was previously a president of and is now a board member of Health Law Advocates, a nonprofit public interest law firm that represents individual low-income residents seeking access to medical care or insurance coverage, provides legal representation to groups facing access issues and engages in education and outreach. She is also board vice president of Health Care for All, which advocates for health justice in Massachusetts by working to promote health equity and ensure coverage and access for all. Her community service has often taken the form of direct provision of legal services. In 2012, Parmet was lead counsel in a case in which the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court held that the state’s exclusion of legal immigrants from state-subsidized health insurance was unconstitutional. In 1998, Parmet acted as co-counsel in Bragdon v. Abbott, the first AIDS/HIV case to come before the US Supreme Court under the Americans with Disabilities Act. “Through her work on these cases, her academic work and her broader advocacy efforts, Professor Parmet has demonstrated a strong commitment to community service in the areas of health and health care,” according to the section’s announcement regarding the award.

A prolific author, Parmet has published articles on public health, bioethics, discrimination, health law and AIDS law. She is co-author of The Health of Newcomers: Immigration, Health Policy, and the Case for Global Solidarity (NYU Press, 2017) and Ethical Health Care (Prentice Hall, 2005); author of Populations, Public Health, and the Law (Georgetown University Press, 2009); and co-editor of Debates on U.S. Health Care (Sage Press, 2012). In December, Health Affairs Blog (published by Health Affairs, the leading journal of health policy thought and research) noted that she had the fifth most read blog post on its site in 2018 — the article was titled, “Immigration And Health Care Under The Trump Administration.”

“I am deeply honored to receive the Community Service Award,” said Parmet. “This award is especially meaningful to me, as it recognizes the importance of the public interest work that I and so many of my health law colleagues do. Now, perhaps more than ever, it feels especially critical that those of us who have the privilege of being health law professors share some of our time and expertise however we can to help ensure that our laws protect rather than endanger the health of vulnerable populations.”

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