Mid-States Region Leaders

Denise Chrysler


(734) 647-1316


Denise Chrysler

Denise Chrysler, J.D., serves as director for the Mid-States Region of the Network for Public Health Law. Previously, she served as the public health legal director for the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH). In this position, she coordinated the legal needs of the Public Health Administration and provided legal expertise and assistance regarding public health powers, programs and services. Denise also serves on the Ingham County (Michigan) Board of Health.

Denise served as an assistant attorney general for 20 years. There, she provided legal advice and representation to programs that protect the public’s health, safety and welfare in the Michigan Departments of Community Health, Agriculture and Environmental Quality. She is the recipient of the Frank J. Kelley Award for Excellence for successful efforts to protect mammograms and medical records of some 200,000 patients in Southeast Michigan who were abandoned by a bankrupt health provider.

Denise graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1980. She is a member of the Public Health Law Association and the State Bar Health Care Law Section. She is admitted to practice before both state and federal courts in Michigan.

Denise lives in Lansing, Michigan with her husband, Paul Pratt, and their two cats Marbury and Madison. She is an avid gardener and has transformed their entire yard into vegetable, herb, and flower gardens.

Peter D. Jacobson


(734) 936-0928

Peter Jacobson

Peter D. Jacobson, J.D., M.P.H., is Professor of Health Law and Policy, and Director, Center for Law, Ethics, and Health, at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, where he teaches courses on health law, public health law, and public health policy. Professor Jacobson’s recent research has examined health departments’ strategic adaptations, publichealth entrepreneurship, and the U.S. Surgeon General’s vital mission.  His most recent book is Law and the Health System (co-authored—Foundation Press, 2014). Previous books include work on tobacco control, breast cancer, and the role of the courts in shaping health policy.

Professor Jacobson is a member of the Board of Directors, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, and is also Chair of the Board of Health for Washtenaw County Public Health. Right now, he is working on a health law text for health administration students, is leading a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation project examining the implementation of health in all policies programs, and is examining the legal issues that contributed to the Flint Water Crisis. He is the principal investigator for the Mid-States Region of the Network for Public Health Law, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program.

From 2010-2016, Professor Jacobson was the Associate Editor for Health Law and Public Health at the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. From 2010-2012, he served as President of the Public Health Law Association, and was Chair of the Advisory Committee to AcademyHealth’s Public Health Systems Research Interest Group from 2009-2010.  Currently, he serves on the Board of Directors, National Center for Healthcare Leadership, and is the Chair of the Board of Health for Washtenaw County Public Health. 

Jennifer Bernstein

Deputy Director

(734) 764-6772


Jennifer Bernstein

Jennifer Bernstein, J.D., M.P.H., received a Bachelor of Science degree in Women’s Studies and a Certificate in LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006. She then received her Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Iowa in 2009. During graduate school, Jennifer was a research assistant at the National Health Law and Policy Resource Center. She conducted a multi-state survey of laws related to nursing homes civil monetary penalties for noncompliance and researched the effectiveness of the Medicare and Medicaid nursing home survey process.

She also interned at the District of Columbia Primary Care Association, drafting a model state plan amendment for D.C. aimed at expanding language access services for Medicaid patients. Upon graduation, Jennifer was admitted to the Texas State Bar. She accepted the Hogg Foundation Mental Health Policy Fellowship working for Lutheran Social Services of the South in Austin, Texas. She worked during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session advocating for the expansion of trauma informed care throughout the state. She also volunteered as a pro bono attorney for Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, representing low income victims of domestic violence.

Colleen Healy Boufides

Senior Staff Attorney

(734) 764-2089


Colleen Healy Boufides, J.D., is a senior staff attorney with the Network for Public Health Law – Mid-States Region at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Colleen received her J.D. from the Duke University School of Law. While in law school, she served as Articles Editor for the Duke Forum for Law & Social Change and worked at the National Health Law Program as a legal intern. Prior to law school, Colleen received a B.S. from Arizona State University – the Barrett Honors College, where she studied psychology and global health and wrote her honors thesis on the role of community health workers in a local Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition program.

Colleen is a member of the Michigan State Bar. Prior to joining the Network, Colleen worked at the Michigan Primary Care Association, where she was involved in state and federal legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of Michigan’s federally qualified health centers. Colleen has also worked as a commercial litigation associate for Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone, PLC, a large Michigan-based law firm. While at the firm, Colleen provided pro bono assistance to a nonprofit harm reduction organization and served on the board of a local health center and a nonprofit focused on economic empowerment, where she assisted with launching annual expungement workshops.

Sallie Milam

Deputy Director

(952) 452-9700


Sallie Milam, JD, CIPP/US/G, is a Deputy Director with the Network for Public Health Law Mid-States region, which promotes and supports the use of law to protect the public’s health by providing direct technical assistance; developing and providing training, materials, and practical tools; and, connecting individuals with one other to build a public health law community. Navigating law to share data within and across sectors to address health inequities is her focus. Sallie has practiced law for over 25 years primarily in the health, HIPAA and general privacy areas. She is a Certified Information Privacy Professional, with US and government privacy certifications. Sallie has extensive experience in working with state agencies around data. From 2003 to 2018, Sallie served as West Virginia’s Chief Privacy Officer and led the Executive Branch’s Privacy Program. Previously, Sallie facilitated data sharing through her service as the West Virginia Health Care Authority’s Privacy Officer and as HIPAA Senior Legal Counsel, where she led HIPAA privacy implementation across the West Virginia Executive Branch. Additionally, she was the first Executive Director of the West Virginia Health Information Network, which is West Virginia’s statewide health information exchange, and was West Virginia’s Project Director for its Nationwide Health Information Network contract.