Colleen Healy Boufides, J.D., is a deputy director with the Network’s Mid-States Region Office. Her current work focuses on public health legal authority and decision-making; collaboration between medical-legal partnerships (MLP) and public health, particularly as it facilitates translating individual legal challenges into population-level legal interventions; laws supporting the community health worker profession; and legal issues relating to environmental health and climate change. Prior to joining the Network, Colleen worked at the Michigan Primary Care Association where she focused on policy and operational issues affecting Michigan’s federally qualified health centers. Before that, she worked as a commercial litigation associate for a large Michigan-based law firm and supported local nonprofit organizations as a board member and by providing pro bono legal assistance.

In 2019, Colleen was included in the de Beaumont Foundation’s list of 40 under 40 in Public Health and she received the American Public Health Association Law Section’s Early Career Award for Excellence in Public Health Law. Colleen received her law degree from the Duke University School of Law and her Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University – the Barrett Honors College, where she studied psychology and global health. Colleen is a member of the state bar of Michigan.

Articles & Resources

COVID-19 FAQs for Michigan Local Health Departments

FAQMichiganMid-States RegionPublic Health Advocacy and Decision-Making

December 18, 2020
by Carrie Waggoner, Colleen Healy Boufides, Denise Chrysler, 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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State Legal Authority to Investigate the Spread of Communicable Disease

GuidanceEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseEmergency ResponseHealth Data Sharing and Privacy

May 5, 2020
by Colleen Healy Boufides

Many states grant broad legal authority to local health departments to investigate the causes and spread of communicable diseases. These powers are often contained in the state’s public health code and communicable disease rules. This guidance provide information on which provisions of state law a local health department can cite to compel sharing of information needed for a communicable disease investigation.

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