New College of Law professor Erin Fuse Brown grew up in Hawaii, went to college in the Northeast and has lived in many different parts of the country, but Atlanta and the Southeast were never really on her radar. That changed last summer when the health law and policy expert attended a conference and met GSU Law professor and Center for Law, Health and Society director Charity Scott.
"We just got to talking about my background and my interests… it turned out that it was just a really great fit," Fuse Brown says. "It was Georgia State's strong presence with their center [CLHS] that made me sit up and think, ‘Wow, this is exactly the kind of environment I want to be in.'"
Fuse Brown comes to GSU from Arizona State University, where she was visiting assistant professor in the College of Law and a fellow in ethics and health policy with ASU's Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics. Prior to her time in Arizona, Fuse Brown practiced in the health care group of Ropes & Gray LLP's San Francisco office and served as a law clerk for Judge Alan C. Kay on the U.S. District Court in Honolulu.
The health care industry has long been of interest to Fuse Brown, whose father is a physician, but she didn't enter the field right away. At Dartmouth College, she earned her bachelor's degree in printmaking and studio art and also studied psychology. After she graduated, Fuse Brown did a stint at an Internet company before finally entering the realm of health as a public health researcher at the University of California, San Francisco.
"I knew I didn't want to become a physician myself [but] was always interested in the broader health care industry and the broken health care system of the U.S.," Fuse Brown says. "The more I studied it, it solidified that interest."
From there, she pursued public health law and policy. She enrolled in a four-year joint-degree program at the Georgetown University Law Center and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and obtained her J.D. and Master of Public Health degrees.
At GSU, Fuse Brown will be teaching administrative law and health law: finance and delivery. She was recruited as part of the Second Century Initiative (2CI), the university's effort to cultivate interdisciplinary collaboration. She sees her position as bridging the business side of health care and the regulatory side of health care. "That vision of the Second Century Initiative really struck me as being a strong statement on the part of the university, that they're committed not only to this particular topic but to interdisciplinary learning and teaching," Fuse Brown says.
Although she is still settling into her new hometown, Fuse Brown has found a comfortable balance of the theoretical, research-based aspects of health law and the practical experience she gained as an attorney in an academic career.
"[My time at ASU] solidified that I really love teaching," Fuse Brown says. "I love thinking and researching and writing about these ideas, and I enjoy having students. I thought it was sort of the best job ever, really."
Kathleen Poe Ross