Kerri McGowan Lowrey, J.D., M.P.H., is Deputy Director and Director for Grants & Research for the Network for Public Health Law, Eastern Region, based at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Kerri has more than 20 years of experience as a public health lawyer. Her areas of focus have included injury prevention law, particularly sports and recreational injury prevention in children and adolescents; laws affecting return to school after traumatic brain injury; driver licensing laws and practices; health data privacy and sharing in the school setting; education as a social determinant of health; and housing instability. Kerri spearheaded the development of an interprofessional eviction prevention project with the University of Maryland School of Social Work, which seeks to provide legal triage and access to community support services for families facing housing instability due to the pandemic. She currently serves as co-chair of the Children’s Safety Now Alliance Steering Committee, an alliance of more than 35 organizations seeking to elevate child safety as a national priority and address the related needs of state and local health departments. Kerri’s specialized training includes a four-year term as a Cancer Prevention Fellow at the National Cancer Institute, 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 at the MayaTech Corporation in Silver Spring, MD, and Manager of its Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis. She received her J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law, an M.P.H. from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and A.B. in public policy and American institutions from Brown University.

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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