Morgan Jones Axtell, J.D., serves as a staff attorney with the Network’s Eastern Region Office and the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy (LRC) at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. She is primarily interested in improving access to quality healthcare among marginalized individuals, disability rights, and health equity.

Morgan earned her J.D. with highest honors and health law certificate from the University of Tulsa College of Law, and B.S. in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. While in law school, she worked as a legal research assistant and co-authored articles relating to Tribal public health law and disease reporting. Prior to coming to the Network, Morgan completed an externship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Law Program (PHLP), where she focused on projects ranging from mental health parity, public health authority and pregnancy discrimination. Morgan is a member of the Oklahoma and Cherokee Nation Bar. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her two dogs.

Articles & Resources

State and Local Efforts to Declare Racism a Public Health Crisis – Eastern Region Update

Issue BriefRacism as a Public Health CrisisMechanisms for Advancing Health Equity

June 24, 2022
by Morgan Jones-Axtell

In summer 2020, as the disparities in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths continued to worsen and amid racial justice protests following the murder of George Floyd, cities, counties, states, and other agencies and organizations increasingly issued formal resolutions declaring racism a public health crisis. This Issue Brief is the third in a series of updated analyses looking at resolutions issued in each region of the country based on the Network’s regional offices. These analyses will focus primarily on state and local government entities, including city councils, county boards of commissioners (BOC), city and county executives, school boards, and boards of health (BOH).

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The Pandemic’s Silver Linings: Moving Toward a More Inclusive New Normal for People with Disabilities

Law & Policy InsightsCOVID-19Mechanisms for Advancing Public Health

February 10, 2022
by Morgan Jones-Axtell

Isolation measures taken in response to the pandemic necessitated a transition to virtual platforms for work, learning, and social activities for most Americans. While for some this transition created challenges like Zoom fatigue and less social time, for those unable to attend in-person gatherings due to disability or distance, these virtual platforms meant more opportunities for socializing and participation. The result has been a number of law and policy changes that have enhanced accessibility and equity for all people residing in the United States.

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International Day of Persons with Disabilities: Law and Policy Developments Affecting the Disability Community

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and SafetyMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityMedicaidSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

December 2, 2021
by Amy Lieberman, Colleen Healy Boufides and Morgan Jones-Axtell

International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually to promote awareness and support for the rights and wellbeing of people with disabilities. One in four adults in the United States have a disability, and solutions to advance accessibility, inclusion, and equity must account for the diversity of experiences among people with disabilities. To mark the occasion, Network attorneys highlight recent law and policy developments related to health equity, sexual orientation, and gender identity. 

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