Southeastern Region Leaders

Gene Matthews


(919) 966-9924

Gene Mathews

Gene W. Matthews, J.D., is director of the Network’s Southeastern Region Office. He also serves as a senior investigator at the North Carolina Institute for Public Health (NCIPH) at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. Gene previously served as chief legal advisor to CDC in Atlanta from 1979 to 2004, directing a legal staff that grew to 30 persons. During that 25-year span, he handled a wide range of precedent-setting public health law issues and litigated key public health lawsuits and civil discovery cases. Over the past decade, Gene has provided leadership for the founding and development of the modern public health law movement. As a senior fellow at NCIPH, Gene led a national public/private partnership initiative, funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, designed to develop common legal preparedness agendas regarding liability laws during emergencies. Gene currently conducts legal research and provides technical assistance to public health practitioners on many legal topics. He also teaches courses on leadership in health law and ethics for the UNC Doctoral Program in Health Leadership. Gene is widely published and is frequently called upon to lecture on cutting-edge legal issues such as emergency preparedness; federalism; and future trends in public health leadership. Gene received the Distinguished Career Award of the Public Health Law Association “…in recognition of a career devoted to using law to improve the public’s health.” He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of Law and is a member of the North Carolina Bar.

Jane Perkins

Senior Attorney

(919) 260-4303

Jane Perkins

Jane Perkins, J.D., M.P.H., is a senior attorney at the Network's Southeastern Region Office and is legal director at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), a public interest law firm working to improve health access and health care for vulnerable populations. Prior to her current positions with the Network and NHeLP, Jane was an assistant attorney general in the State of Maryland, assigned to the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and an associate in the health care division of a San Francisco area law firm. At NHeLP, Jane focuses on publicly funded health insurance programs, children’s health, and disability and civil rights. She has authored and co-authored many publications on these topics. She has served as principal or co-principal investigator for numerous projects, involving among other subjects: Making the Consumers’ Voice Heard in Medicaid Managed Care; Court Access for Low Income People; Early Intervention Services for Medicaid-eligible Children; and Sunshine and Accountability in Government-Funded Health Programs. Jane has provided technical and consulting support to health advocates in all 50 states and has provided national and state-based training, including on-site training in 32 states and the District of Columbia. She has engaged in extensive litigation and policy advocacy on behalf of low income people, people with disabilities, and children. Jane earned her M.P.H. from the University of California, Berkeley; her J.D. from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and her B.A. from Davidson College. She is admitted to the state bars of California, Maryland (inactive) and North Carolina; all of the federal circuit courts of appeal; and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Corey Davis

Deputy Director, Southeastern Region Office

Director, Harm Reduction Legal Project

(310) 736-1657

Corey Davis

Corey Davis, J.D., M.S.P.H., is deputy director of the Network's Southeastern Region Office and the Director of the Harm Reduction Legal Project. Before joining NHeLP Corey served as Employment Rights Attorney at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania where he represented lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals before administrative commissions and in state and federal courts. Prior to joining Equality Advocates, Corey oversaw a street-based legal clinic sited at Philadelphia’s syringe exchange program. In both of these positions he provided direct legal representation as well as education, outreach and strategic advocacy.

Corey has also worked for the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania and the Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium in both research and management capacities. He is the recipient of the International AIDS Society’s Young Investigator Award, given for empirical research on the effect of law and law enforcement practice on access to an evidence-based public health intervention, and has published in the lay and academic press. Corey received his B.S. from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, his M.S.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Temple University. Corey is barred in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as various federal courts.

Sarah Somers

Managing Attorney

(919) 968-6308 Ext. 102

Sarah Somers

Sarah Somers, J.D., M.P.H., is a managing attorney at the Network's Southeastern Region Office and at the National Health Law Program’s (NHeLP) Chapel Hill office. She specializes in litigation and litigation support, and has expertise in Medicaid and disability issues. Sarah has provided training and analysis to advocates on issues related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; Medicaid; the Americans with Disabilities Act; and other publicly-funded health care programs. She engages in research, writing and training on these and other issues. Before joining the Network and NHeLP, Sarah worked for DNA—People’s Legal Services and the Native American Protection and Advocacy Project on the Navajo Nation, where she represented children in special education and Medicaid cases. Sarah received her J.D. from the University of Michigan, her M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health, and her B.A. from Wellesley College. She is a member of the state bars of North Carolina; California; and Utah (inactive) and admitted to the First; Third; Fourth, Fifth, Sixth; and Ninth Circuit Federal Courts of Appeal.

Amy Lieberman

Staff Attorney, Harm Reduction Legal Project


Amy Judd Lieberman, J.D., is a staff attorney with the Harm Reduction Legal Project. Before joining the Project, Amy worked briefly in litigation after a fellowship with the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) working on critical issues related to the opioid epidemic and promoting harm reduction practices, specifically in the communities served by Medicaid and Medi-cal. While in law school, she was the president of the Law Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter, spearheading efforts to educate law students and the community on humane drug policy and harm reduction. She was also an advocate on the Jessup International Moot Court team and a research editor for the UC Irvine Law Review, and she received awards for her pro bono work and her work in the International Justice Clinic, supporting the mandate of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. Amy received her B.F.A from New York University and her J.D. from the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  She is barred in California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California.