Kerri McGowan Lowrey, J.D., M.P.H., is deputy director of the Network’s Eastern Region Office. She has over 15 years of experience in health law and policy research, primary and secondary legal and legislative analysis, and empirical legal and legislative research. Much of her recent work centers on law and policy addressing concussions and other injuries in youth sports. Her areas of research have also included the role of law in cancer prevention, particularly in the area of obesity prevention; health disparities and social determinants of health; the use of epidemiological evidence in courts; and legal and ethical implications of emerging technologies. Kerri is a member of the bar of the Maryland Court of Special Appeals. Her specialized training includes a four-year term as a cancer prevention fellow within the NCI’s Office of Preventive Oncology, where she assisted in developing the Cancer Prevention Fellowship Ethics Track. Prior to joining the Network for Public Health Law, Kerri served as technical vice president and manager of the Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis at the MayaTech Corporation in Silver Spring, MD. Kerri received a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1999, an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2001 and A.B. in public policy and American institutions from Brown University in 1996.

Articles & Resources

Making Sure Kids are Healthy Enough to Learn: Innovations in Education Law and Policy

WebinarsNational School Lunch ProgramFood Safety and SecurityHealth in SchoolMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

September 26, 2019
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey and Mathew R. Swinburne

Education has emerged as a social determinant of health in its own right. More highly educated individuals are healthier and tend to live longer; they also are at less risk of smoking, drug abuse, accidents and chronic diseases. Despite federal laws that guarantee all children a free appropriate public education, major inequities exist.

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Undocumented Immigrants and Patient Privacy Laws

Issue BriefHealth Information and Data Sharing

June 4, 2019
by Kathleen Hoke and Kerri McGowan Lowrey

Concern over immigration enforcement can prevent immigrants from obtaining needed health care. Many immigrants worry that health workers will share their undocumented status with immigration authorities. Removing barriers to immigrants’ utilization of preventative and other health care services is important for public health. This issue brief explores relevant federal and state health privacy laws and how they apply to undocumented immigrants and provides information on health care providers’ rights and responsibilities when providing health care to immigrants.

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Motor Vehicle Fatalities Involving Children and Impaired Drivers: Are Child Endangerment Laws Really Failing Us?

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthInjury Prevention and Safety

May 23, 2019
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

One in five child passenger fatalities in the U.S. involve an impaired driver, most commonly the child’s own driver. Forty-six states and D.C. have child endangerment statutes that impose special sanctions for driving under the influence while transporting a child. Despite the widespread use of such laws, studies of their effectiveness suggest they may not be effective in preventing alcohol-related child fatalities in motor vehicle crashes, primarily due to low public awareness and lax enforcement.

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Immigrant Health: The Role and Impact of Medicaid, HIPAA, and the Public Charge Doctrine

WebinarsMedicaidHealth Information and Data Sharing

April 25, 2019
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

The high cost of health care and the increasing decline in health insurance coverage are a concern for all people living in America. But for immigrants, who have extremely low rates of insurance coverage compared to U.S.-born populations, the situation is even more precarious. Low incomes, lack of insurance, concern over immigration enforcement, and other barriers pose serious threats to immigrant health. That, in turn, poses a risk to the broader public health. Federal and state laws impact immigrants’ access to care and, therefore, public health. Attend this webinar to examine a few of the laws and policies that create barriers to immigrants’ access to care.

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What School Nurses Really Do: Realizing the Power of School Nursing in Public Health

Law & Policy InsightsHealth in SchoolSchool NursesSchool Nursing

December 19, 2018
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

School nurses can play a critical role in advancing child and adolescent health — including expanding access to care for many children. However, laws across the country do not yet recognize the importance of school nurses, and only one state requires a full-time registered nurse in every school.

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Key Public Health Initiatives: A Year in Review

WebinarsHealth ReformFood Safety and SecurityInjury Prevention and SafetySubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

December 13, 2018
by Brooke Torton, Kathleen Hoke, Kerri McGowan Lowrey and Mathew R. Swinburne

Among the most pressing public health issues of 2018, access to healthcare, electronic nicotine delivery systems, injury prevention, and food insecurity saw significant legislation and policy impacts. In this webinar, subject matter experts will recap how four important public health initiatives—expansion of scope of practice; regulation of electronic nicotine delivery systems; traumatic brain injury prevention; and food insecurity and SNAP—were impacted in 2018.

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