Western Region Leaders

James G. Hodge, Jr.

Principal Investigator/ Director

(480) 727-8576


James Hodge

Through scholarly and applied work, James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D., LL.M., delves into multiple areas of public health law, global health law, ethics and human rights. James teaches Health Law, Ethics and Policy; Public Health Law and Ethics; and Global Health Law and Policy at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. He is also an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Georgetown University Law Center, and a senior scholar at the Centers for Law and the Public’s Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities. The recipient of the 2006 Henrik L. Blum Award for Excellence in Health Policy from the American Public Health Association, James has drafted (with others) several public health law reform initiatives including the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act in 2001. His diverse, funded projects include work on (1) emergency legal preparedness; (2) the legal framework underlying the use of volunteer health professionals during emergencies; (3) historical and legal bases underlying school vaccination programs; (4) legal and ethical distinctions between public health practice and research; (5) legal underpinnings of partner notification and expedited partner therapies; (6) public health information privacy law and policy; and (7) legal support for health impact assessments (HIAs).

Leila Barraza


(520) 626.0720


Leila Barraza, J.D., M.P.H., is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Community, Environment, & Policy in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. Previously, Leila served as Deputy Director of the Network for Public Health Law – Western Region Office and a Fellow and Adjunct Professor in the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. She has been published in several scholarly journals, including the Duke Forum for Law & Social Change, Jurimetrics Journal, and Journal for Law, Medicine, and Ethics. Barraza has also provided numerous presentations at national and local conferences on a variety of critical public health law issues. She received her J.D., with a Certificate in Law, Science, and Technology, from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and her M.P.H. from the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. She also received a B.A. in Biological Sciences from the University of Southern California. She worked for the Center for Rural Health (formerly Rural Health Office) at the Zuckerman College of Public Health, providing assistance to rural and tribal hospitals and clinics, prior to attending law school. Following law school, Leila served as a Law Clerk for the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.

Madeline Morcelle

Staff Attorney

(480) 965.9741


Madeline Morcelle, J.D., M.P.H., is a Research Scholar with the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and a Staff Attorney with the Network for Public Health Law — Western Region. She is passionate about using legal and policy tools to advance health equity and social justice. She has a special interest in addressing the social determinants of health in vulnerable populations and communities.

Before joining the College of Law, Madeline worked at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and provided legal technical assistance and policy analysis to support the design and implementation of community-based prevention and population health programs. She holds a M.P.H. in Health Policy from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and JD from Washington and Lee University School of Law. While at Harvard, Madeline was a Fellow of the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute, Associate Editor of the Harvard Public Health Review, and member of the Harvard Mississippi Delta Project’s Health Initiative. She received the James H. Ware Award for Achievement in the Practice of Public Health for her policy advocacy and research work with the Southern AIDS Coalition. In law school, she served as a Summer Fellow at the Harvard Law School Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Publication Editor on the Washington and Lee Political Review, Research Assistant to Professor Timothy S. Jost, and organized the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention.

Sarah Wetter

Staff Attorney

(480) 727-2091


Sarah A. Wetter, J.D. joined the Western Region Office and ASU’s Center for Public Health Law and Policy in the fall of 2017 as Research Scholar. Ms. Wetter graduated from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law cum laude with a certificate in Health Law in May 2017. She was the recipient of the Judge Roslyn Olson Silver Scholarship. During her law school experience, Ms. Wetter worked as a legal researcher for ASU’s Center for Public Health Law and Policy. She also served as the President of the Health Law Society, the Editor-in-Chief of Jurimetrics Journal, and a Center Scholar of the Center for Law, Science, and Innovation.

In 2016, Ms. Wetter interned with the Public Health Law Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During this internship, Ms. Wetter analyzed and coded laws related to health information exchange, and presented on legal issues in health information technology with the CDC’s Law and Science Advisory Group. She also presented on health information exchange at the 2016 Public Health Informatics Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.

Ms. Wetter has published several articles in diverse areas including obesity prevention and control, emergency legal preparedness, health data sharing, and public health preemption.She graduated from Cornell University in 2014 with a degree in Biology and Society with a concentration in Health in Society, and a minor in Spanish.