Carrie Waggoner, J.D., serves as Co-Director, Mid-States Region. Prior to this role, Carrie served as the Mid-States Office’s deputy director. Carrie’s legal interests include the use of data to advance health equity, public health authority issues, and law and policies supporting employees and families. Carrie has legal expertise in HIPAA, public health data sharing and privacy, public records, and public health legal authority. Prior to joining the Network in 2020, Carrie served as the Director of the Public Health Legal Division at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services where she led teams providing legal support on public health, privacy, data, contracts, litigation, and FOIA-related matters. Carrie also serves on the board of directors of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Carrie is a graduate of Michigan State University College of Law and is licensed to practice law in Michigan.

Articles & Resources

­Racial Equity Interests and Needs Assessment

ReportMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

September 22, 2023
by Betsy Lawton, Carrie Waggoner, Chris Alibrandi O’Connor, Dawn Hunter, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, Phyllis Jeden and Sara Rogers

By May of 2020, the realities of the inequitable toll of COVID-19 on communities of color became starkly evident, and the murder of George Floyd sparked a renewed movement for racial justice in the United States. During this time, the Network began earnestly exploring how best to respond and be of assistance in a rapidly changing environment. An internal Health Equity Work Group (HEWG) was established to create a space for connection and learning, and to identify ways to collaborate across regions to be responsive to what we were observing and experiencing. One of the early actions identified by the HEWG was to “evaluate what services and supports Network users are interested in” via tools like an environmental scan, stakeholder interviews, and focus groups. This report explores the process that was undertaken to answer that question and the key findings and themes relevant to health and racial equity work across a variety of public health practitioners and organizations.

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End of COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Brings Changes to CDC Data Collection and Surveillance

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data SharingCOVID-19

May 18, 2023
by Carrie Waggoner

With the end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, reporting of certain data to CDC, and consequently some data analytics and surveillance provided by CDC, will no longer be available after May 11. The impact of these changes means that the public will no longer see certain metrics from CDC, such as color-coded transmission levels and community maps. More broadly, it means a less centralized approach to COVID-19 data collection and reporting to the public and a return to the fragmented public health system where states and localities exercise their own legal authority.

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Network for Public Health Law Announces New Leadership at its Mid-States Region Office

Network News

March 9, 2023
by Carrie Waggoner and Colleen Healy Boufides

The Network is pleased to announce the appointments of Carrie Waggoner, J.D. and Colleen Healy Boufides, J.D. as the new Director and Co-Director of our Mid-States Region Office. They will jointly will lead the Mid-States team of law and policy experts in their ongoing work to support capacity building to public health departments and other entities to advance laws and policies that center equity, particularly in public health data sharing. Read the full announcement. 

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Improving Health Equity Requires Addressing Multiple Race and Ethnicity Data Collection Barriers

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data Sharing

March 8, 2023
by Carrie Waggoner

With accurate and complete public health data, policymakers can be better equipped to interpret and use data to dismantle the legal, social, political, and economic systems that create inequities. However, state collection of non-white racial and ethnic group data has long been incomplete and unreliable due to several barriers. Overcoming these barriers requires legal and policy solutions at multiple levels.

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Disaggregation of Public Health Data by Race & Ethnicity: A Legal Handbook

HandbookHealth Information and Data SharingHealth Data Sharing and PrivacyPublic Health Information Management, Privacy and Security

December 14, 2022
by Carrie Waggoner and Stephen Murphy

Detailed race and ethnicity data in public health is needed to adequately identify, assess, and address health inequities and structural racism, yet this type of data is often not utilized because of misunderstandings around the legality of collecting and sharing it. To assist public health practitioners and attorneys across state, Tribal, and local governments in the use of data to advance health equity, the Network has produced a legal handbook that addresses the role of law in collecting and disseminating public health data disaggregated by race and ethnicity.    

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Public Health Has a Critical Role in the Development of Data Privacy Legislation

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Data Sharing and PrivacyMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

November 30, 2022
by Carrie Waggoner

As public health is increasingly moving toward cross-sector data sharing to better tailor public health interventions and address health inequities, comprehensive privacy laws are receiving more legislative attention. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act (ADPPA), introduced in June 2022 and amended in July, is an example of a pending federal bill that may have implications for public health data collection and sharing.

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COVID-19 FAQs for Michigan Local Health Departments

FAQMichiganMid-States RegionPublic Health Advocacy and Decision-MakingPublic Health Authority

September 29, 2022
by Carrie Waggoner, Colleen Healy Boufides, Denise Chrysler, Jennifer Piatt, Kathleen Hoke, Peter D. Jacobson and Sallie Milam

In addressing questions regarding executive decision-making, we use the following general approach. Michigan’s Public Health Code grants public health officials considerable discretion to protect the public against communicable disease and environmental health threats. To exercise their broad grant of authority, the executive must ask three key questions: Can I? Must I? Should I?

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How Community Organizations Can Help Address Financial Inequities and Predatory Lending Practices

Law & Policy InsightsEast Side Health and Well-Being CollaborativeMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

March 8, 2022
by Carrie Waggoner

Financial disparities exist in a multitude of areas including home ownership, credit scores, and access to banking services; and are linked to health disparities in maternal and child health, mental health, and substance use disorders. Community organizations can play a role in reducing these disparities by providing financial education and planning, increasing access to banking services, and providing help for those who find themselves in the grip of predatory lenders and payday loans.

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Pride Month: Law and Policy Developments Affecting the LGBTQ+ Community

Law & Policy InsightsMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

June 16, 2021
by Carrie Waggoner

Pride Month is a celebration by and among individuals and communities of sometimes-hard-won acceptance and affirmation of sexual orientation and gender identity, by and among individuals and communities. This month, Network attorneys highlight recent law and policy developments related to health equity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

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