Network for Public Health Law Forms Strategic Advisory Board with Leaders in Law, Medicine, Education, Housing and Public Health

Minneapolis, MN — September 26, 2017 — The Network for Public Health Law (Network), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the use of law to promote, protect and improve public health, announced nine members of its National Advisory Board. This esteemed group of leaders — representing the critical sectors of law, medicine, health care, education, housing, public health and government —will provide strategic guidance to the Network as it undertakes major initiatives in the next two years:

Michael Botticelli, Executive Director at the Grayken Center for Addiction Medicine at Boston Medical Center, served as Director of National Drug Control Policy at the White House under President Barack Obama. Mr. Botticelli also previously served as Director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and has served in a variety of leadership roles for the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.

Steven Gravely, Partner at Troutman Sanders, LLP, focuses his practice in the areas of health law, information privacy and cybersecurity and emergency preparedness and response issues for critical infrastructure industries. He has represented healthcare organizations for over 20 years in a full spectrum of health care legal issues. Mr. Gravely is certified by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) as a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the United States (CIPP/US).

Howard Koh, Professor of the Practice of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School, served as the 14th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama Administration. Dr. Koh also served for five years as the Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. He has board certification in four medical fields: internal medicine, hematology, medical oncology and dermatology.

Rebecca Morley, a passionate advocate for safe, healthy and vibrant communities, leads a strategic consulting firm that facilitates and bridges health and community development institutions.  Most recently, she was the Director of the Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts. Ms. Morley also served as the executive director of the National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH), a national non-profit dedicated to creating healthy and safe housing for children.

Karin Schwartz, Deputy Director and Chief Counsel for the California Department of Public Health, was previously Supervising Deputy Attorney in the California Attorney General's Office, where she worked in the Health, Education and Welfare section for 11 years.  She has represented the State in numerous cases in the state and federal courts, including several cases in the United States Supreme Court. 

Umair Shah, Executive Director at Harris County Public Health in Houston, Texas, is President of the National Association of County & City Health Officials, a membership organization comprised of nearly 3,000 local health departments across the United States. Prior to his post at Harris County Public Health, Dr. Shah was Chief Medical Officer at the Galveston County Health District in Texas and an emergency department physician at Houston’s Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.

Joshua Sharfstein, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Training at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, previously served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and was Principal Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In 2016, Dr. Sharfstein was named inaugural Director of the Bloomberg American Health Initiative at Johns Hopkins.

Joaquin Tamayo, National Director of the Kind Schools Project at Stand for Children, an education advocacy organization, previously served as Director of Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Tamayo started his career as a high school teacher, and subsequently served as the founding principal of the Urban Assembly Academy of Government and Law high school in New York. He was also Assistant Director of the Aspen Institute’s Education and Society Program.

Kimberlydawn Wisdom, Senior Vice President of Community Health & Equity Chief Wellness & Diversity Officer at the Henry Ford Health System, is a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician, the Chair of the Gail and Lois Warden Endowment on Multicultural Health, and Michigan’s and the nation’s first state-level Surgeon General. In 2012 she was appointed by President Obama to serve on the Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion and Integrative and Public Health.

“I am honored to be among these distinguished individuals in support of an organization that is doing such important work in improving the health of our communities,” said Advisory Board Chair Dr. Joshua Sharfstein. “Law and policy are integral to protecting and promoting population health, but health departments and advocacy organizations often do not have the expertise and resources to tackle legal and policy issues. The Network addresses this need and makes great progress possible.”

“The Network is prioritizing legal and policy work to address the upstream factors that impact health,” said Donna Levin, the Network’s National Director. “We will look to the individual and collective expertise of our Advisory Board members to steer us as we support cross-sector efforts to improve access to care, build safe housing and healthy neighborhoods, and address barriers to health equity for those communities in need.”

About the Network for Public Health Law (Network)

The Network provides visionary leadership in the use of law to promote, protect and improve health and advance health equity. The Network works with local, tribal, state and federal public health officials and practitioners, as well as attorneys, policymakers, advocates and community organizations, providing information, resources, consultation and training, as well as opportunities to connect. The Network’s legal and policy initiatives include healthy housing, mental and behavioral health, health data sharing, emergency preparedness, drug overdose prevention and vaccination requirements. The Network receives funding support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the de Beaumont Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others. Visit

Contact: Ann Phi-Wendt, Managing Director, Network for Public Health Law - National Office

952-452-9702 |