Denise Chrysler, J.D., is Senior Advisor at the Network’s Mid-States Region Office. She served as the Mid-States Office’s director from the time the Network was launched in September 2010 until she retired from the position in February 2023.

Before joining the Network, for 27 years, Denise provided legal services to Michigan’s state health department regarding communicable disease, immunization, environmental public health, public health research, privacy, health information exchange, and emergency legal preparedness and response. She served as the state health department’s public health legal director, privacy officer, freedom of information coordinator, regulatory affairs officer, and member of the Institutional Review Board. She also represented the health department as an assistant attorney general. Currently, Denise serves on the Ingham County Michigan board of health, Michigan Governor’s Public Health Advisory Council, and the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics.

Denise is the recipient of the Roy J. Manty Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to public health in Michigan and the Frank J. Kelley Award for Excellence for successful efforts to protect mammograms and medical records of some 200,000 patients in Southeast Michigan that were abandoned by a bankrupt health care provider.

Denise grew up on a dairy farm in northern Indiana. She graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1980. She and her husband, Paul Pratt, live in Lansing, Michigan. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they adopted two kittens and named them “Pfizer” and “Moderna.”

Articles & Resources

Emergency Manager Law Primer: Protecting the Public’s Health During Financial Emergencies – Lessons Learned from the Flint Water Crisis

PrimerEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseEnvironment, Climate and HealthFlint Water Crisis ProjectPublic Health Authority

February 13, 2018
by Colleen Healy Boufides, Denise Chrysler and Peter D. Jacobson

This primer is intended to help policymakers and practitioners incorporate the lessons learned from the Flint Water Crisis to avert and/or mitigate future crises.

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Bed Bugs – They’re Still Here

Law & Policy Insights

January 29, 2018
by Colleen Healy Boufides and Denise Chrysler

A recent $3.5-million jury verdict awarded to residents of a bed-bug infested apartment complex in Los Angeles illuminates issues raised by many bed bug cases, including whether the burden to eliminate bedbugs should be placed on landlords or tenants; whether current state laws and local ordinances are effective in addressing bed bug issues and affording relief to victims; and whether these laws encourage productive behavior by landlords and tenants.

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Executive Decision Making and Liability for Public Health Officials

WebinarsPublic Health Agency, Structure, Organization and Accreditation

January 25, 2018
by Denise Chrysler

Public health officials have great discretion in carrying out their responsibilities to protect health. However, this discretion can be legally challenged by individuals, organizations, and government. This webinar, co-sponsored by the Network for Public Health Law and the Partnership for Public Health Law, will include a discussion of the discretionary authority public health officials have in carrying out their duties, situations where use of discretion may be legally challenged, and factors the law requires to show proof of an abuse of discretion.

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