May 10, 2013
ATLANTA - Recent graduate Megan Daugherty Douglas (JD '12) is using her legal background as a unique lens to identify the impact of law and policy on health outcomes. Last year, she was awarded a health policy fellowship with the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Under the direction of Dr. David Satcher, 16th surgeon general of the United States and former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the program focuses on health leadership development and includes educational, practical, and research components.
The SHLI health policy fellowship program began in 2009 and has included medical doctors, PhDs, and public health experts, but no attorneys—until now. Douglas is the first GSU graduate and the first law school graduate to receive the fellowship. "In the interview, I wanted to show the program leaders that attorneys are essential to the conversation to eliminate health inequalities," Douglas said. "Because of the program's interdisciplinary focus and my prior collaborative work, the leadership was very receptive."
Douglas is also the first fellow to receive a combined SHLI health policy and Georgia Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment and Related Disabilities (GaLEND) fellowship position. The GaLEND program is sponsored by GSU's Center for Leadership in Disability and prepares health leaders to work with children with developmental disorders and their families.
Douglas will work as a guest researcher at CDC for two months this spring and is currently working on two projects and a grant focused on disabilities. She has guest lectured on disability-related health disparities to graduate students at Morehouse School of Medicine and has presented on law and policy to various audiences.
"Get as much experience as possible during law school," advised Douglas, who believes participation in the HeLP clinic and the health legislation and advocacy course helped to establish her policy path. "Law school provided the perfect environment for me to experiment with different career paths and narrow my focus to policy work."
Stacie P. Kershner, JD
Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society