As director of the Network’s Eastern Region Office, Kathleen Hoke, J.D., draws on her many years of experience as director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, a position she continues to hold. Since 2002, Kathleen has directed the Center, working with state and local health officials and legislators on developing and implementing tobacco control, problem gambling, and injury prevention policy. Kathleen’s work in injury prevention has focused on Maryland state and local policies, including legislation requiring all vehicle occupants to wear a seatbelt, encouraging the State’s Medicaid program to cover special needs carseats for medically fragile children, and pedestrian safety.

With the Network, Kathleen covers myriad issues, including injury prevention, environmental law, healthy affordable housing, regulation of cannabis, food security, and immigration and public health. Kathleen is widely published in peer-review and legal journals; her articles cover issues ranging from nursing scope of practice laws to novel approaches to securing access to HepC treatments.

In 2018, Kathleen was appointed by Maryland Governor Larry Hogan to serve on the Maryland State Council on Cancer Control, and in 2019, she was appointed by Maryland Comptroller Franchot to the E-FACTS Task Force. She has served on work groups of the Maryland General Assembly and is part of the Interprofessional Education team and the CARES Committee on the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

In 2016, the APHA Law Section awarded Kathleen the Jennifer Robbins Award for the Practice of Public Health Law. Kathleen is a Law School Professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, teaching public health law courses, including a Clinic through which students contribute to the work of the Network and the Center. Prior to joining the School of Law, Kathleen was an assistant attorney general in Maryland, an associate at Piper & Marbury (now DLA Piper) and a law clerk to the Honorable Lawrence F. Rodowsky on the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Articles & Resources

The FTC Could Help Curb the Youth Obesity Epidemic by Cracking Down on the Deceptive Advertising of Unhealthy Foods During Children’s Programming Hours

Issue BriefFood Safety and SecurityMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

May 18, 2022
by Kathleen Hoke and Mathew R. Swinburne

This issue brief examines evidence of racial disparities with respect to COVID-19 infections and deaths, possible causes, and legal protections against race discrimination. It also provides an overview of CSC planning, including key ethical features that may be utilized to ensure that CSC planning incorporates concerns about racial inequity.

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Empowering Youth in Public Spaces

East Side Health and Well-Being Collaborative

May 16, 2022
by Kathleen Hoke

This article is one in a series produced through a partnership between the Network and the East Side Health and Well-being Collaborative in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Collaborative works with more than 20 local community organizations to advance coordinated initiatives that strengthen the health of their communities. As a member of the Collaborative, the Network provides training on the intersection between health, public health, and law and policy; and helps identify specific policies that support the Collaborative’s program goals.

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COVID-19 FAQs for Michigan Local Health Departments

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

December 15, 2021
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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The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Reasonable Accommodations to Keep Pregnant Workers Safely Employed

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

July 15, 2021
by Kathleen Hoke

Congress is poised to do something few of us expect of them—pass bi-partisan public health legislation: The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The PWFA is intended to “eliminate discrimination and promote women’s health and economic security by ensuring reasonable workplace accommodations for workers whose ability to perform the functions of a job are limited by pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”

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Tobacco Control: A Decade of Challenges and Change

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

February 10, 2021
by Kathleen Hoke

The first in a series of articles by Network attorneys on major public health law and policy developments over the past 10 years. In this article, Eastern Region Office Director Kathleen Hoke shares her insights into how laws designed to reduce the harm from tobacco use have changed, and the significant strides the public health community has made to reduce tobacco use initiation and increase tobacco cessation.

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Judicial Trends in Public Health 2020: Year in Review

WebinarsJudicial Trends in Public Health

January 19, 2021
by Brooke Torton, James G. Hodge, Jr., Jennifer Piatt, Kathleen Hoke, Kerri McGowan Lowrey, Leila Barraza, Mathew R. Swinburne and Sarah Wetter

Join Network attorneys as they highlight their top choices for pivotal, influential judicial decisions over the past year on topics including emergency legal preparedness, religious freedoms, reproductive rights, food insecurity, health justice, and the future of the ACA.

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Right to Counsel at Eviction Proceedings: Lawyers Keeping Families at Home

Law & Policy InsightsFood and Housing Insecurity MeasuresFood Safety and SecurityNeighborhood and Built Environment

October 21, 2020
by Kathleen Hoke

In the U.S., criminal defendants have the right to be represented by an attorney and states and jurisdictions must provide an attorney free of charge to defendants who cannot afford one. Advocates have sought the same right for citizens facing civil cases, including evictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought light to the eviction crisis, the critical need for housing stability, and the role that lawyers can play in protecting tenants from unlawful and abusive eviction.

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