The Joint Degree Program Advisory Board is a group of lawyers, physicians, and policymakers whose work directly involves an area covered by the Joint Degree Program. Board members serve as mentors to Joint Degree Program students and have been instrumental in funding events and scholarships. The Advisory Board meets three times per year and holds a reception each fall in honor of the Joint Degree Program students.
Current board members are:
Ellen Anderson, JD, serves as Senior Advisor on Energy and Environment to Governor Mark Dayton, and works at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Ellen led the implementation of the state's Environmental Quality Board (EQB), and her duties included organizing the Minnesota Environmental Congress and issuing Minnesota’s Environment and Energy Report Card. She continues to assist the EQB with energy and environmental issues. Ellen holds a BA from Carleton College and JD cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Andrew Brown, JD, MPA, MA, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, is a Partner and practices in the area of energy and environmental law. He is the Chair of Dorsey’s Energy Industry Team and Co-Chair of the firm’s Regulatory Affairs Practice Group. Mr. Brown is a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers. Before attending law school, Mr. Brown was Legislative Aide for energy policy to U.S. Senator Gary Hart. Mr. Brown has served as a Director and as Board Chair of the Environmental Initiative (2008-2010), an organization that promotes partnerships involving government, business and environmental advocacy groups to address challenging environmental issues. He is also past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and a former board member of the Citizens League. He earned his JD and MA degrees from Duke University and his MPA from Harvard University.
Amos S. Deinard, Jr., MD, MPH, Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Medical School, and School of Public Health. His long career has focused on aiding underserved communities in the Twin Cities. He worked for 15 years (1969-84) as the Pediatric Consultant to the Minneapolis Health Department's Maternal and Child Health program, followed by 15 years as Director of the Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC). CUHCC serves uninsured and underinsured patients of all ages in the Phillips neighborhood which is one of the poorest in the city and consists of a highly diverse community of Native American, Hispanic, Southeast Asian, Somali, and white residents. Prof. Deinard has received numerous awards, including the 2008 Distinguished Service Award of the Minnesota Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the University of Minnesota's Award for Outstanding Community Service, the Minneapolis Award for Contributions to the City of Minneapolis, and the Minnesota Department of Health Betty Hubbard Maternal and Child Health Leadership Certificate of Recognition. He received his MD and MPH from the University of Minnesota.
Brian Dorn, JD, PhD, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, is Of Counsel in the Intellectual Property Department. Dr. Dorn has an array of experience in intellectual property with particular emphasis on biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical device patent prosecution and opinion work. He has prosecuted patents and worked on opinions regarding stem cells, humanized antibodies, siRNA, small-molecule pharmaceuticals, antimicrobials, therapeutic peptides, diagnostic and immuno-assays, microarrays, therapeutic medical device coatings, and transgenic animals. Recently, he has been a CLE speaker on the topics of gene patenting and biosimilars. Dr. Dorn has also authored multiple, peer-reviewed scientific publications relating to his research in microbiology, human and microbial genetics, and cell biology. He received his PhD in Biomedical Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology/Immunology and his JD magna cum laude from the University of Florida.
Mark Ellinger, JD, PhD, Senior Principal, Fish & Richardson, Twin Cities office. Fish & Richardson is a leading global law firm with 400 attorneys and technology specialists practicing intellectual property strategy and counseling, intellectual property litigation, and business litigation. His practice emphasizes patent prosecution, opinions, due diligence investigations, licensing and counseling in the medical biotechnology, agricultural biotechnology, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, and medical science fields. Dr. Ellinger is a frequent speaker on intellectual property aspects of biotechnology and is a treatise co-author and lecturer for the Patent Resources Group's course "Pharma and Biotech Strategies for Patent Prosecution, Hatch-Waxman, Litigation and Licensing." Dr. Ellinger received a PhD in developmental biology from the University of Minnesota and a JD from Harvard University Law School. Prior to law school, Dr. Ellinger was a tenured Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University and a Visiting Scientist at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories.
Erin Furlong, JD, MPH, is Associate General Counsel to OptumHealth. Ms. Furlong's career has been in-house, with a practice focus on general health, life sciences, and corporate law, having worked in the manged care and medical device industries. While practicing, Ms. Furlong also taught first year legal writing for two years at the University of Minnesota Law School. Ms. Furlong is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's Law, Health and Life Sciences Joint Degree Program. She was awarded the '02-'03 Harold M. Fredrikson Memorial Scholarship and a full tuition waiver from the School of Public Health for her MPH coursework. While in graduate school, Ms. Furlong held positions as an Executive Pathways Intern and Management Analyst with the Minnesota Department of Human Services in the Aging and Continuing Care for the Elderly Divisions; clerked for the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association; was a Borchard Foundation Intern at the American Bar Association's Commission on Law and Aging; and was a student Moot Court Director, Legal Writing Instructor and Admissions Ambassador.
Keith J. Halleland, JD, is a founder and shareholder of Halleland Habicht. He also co-chairs the health law practice. Keith focuses his practice in the areas of regulatory compliance, business transactions and health care policy. He serves as general counsel for the Health Care Compliance Association and chairs the Advisory Council of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. Keith's experience in the health care arena also includes mergers and acquisitions of large hospitals, long-term care, and managed care organizations. He serves as general counsel to the largest high risk insurance pool in the country, and previously created an integrated health system involving seventeen hospitals and a health plan with over one million members, as well as an integrated network of community clinics. Prior to HH, Keith co-founded Halleland Lewis Nilan Sipkins & Johnson PA in 1996.
Hubert (Skip) H. Humphrey, III, JD, is a Senior Fellow in Public Health Policy and Law in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University's School of Public Health, Of Counsel ACE Panel member at Tunheim Partners, currently serves on the national board of directors of AARP, the Advocates for Human Rights, and board of trustees of Shattuck-St. Mary's schools. He is a former State Senator and Minnesota Attorney General. As a longtime advocate for non-smoking, Mr. Humphrey was the first attorney general in the nation to bring an antitrust and consumer fraud lawsuit against the tobacco industry, reaching a landmark settlement. In 1999, he was awarded the Tobacco-Free World Prize by the World Health Organization. Mr. Humphrey holds a BA degree from American University and a JD from the University of Minnesota.
Ryan Johnson, Esq., JD, is a member of Fredrikson & Byron's Health Law, Life Sciences, Corporate, and Medicare Fraud and Abuse Groups. Among his clients are hospitals, physician groups, medical device companies, physician management companies, and other health care professionals and businesses. Mr. Johnson's experience includes representation of buyers and sellers in health care mergers and acquisitions; representation of health care providers in structuring joint ventures and strategic alliances; representation of physician groups and hospitals in civil and criminal investigations; analysis of physician self-referral (Stark), fraud and abuse, and other federal and state regulatory issues in operational matters affecting health care providers; and advising health care providers, health plans, and device manufacturers regarding patient privacy issues, including compliance with HIPAA. Mr. Johnson received his JD at the University of Minnesota.
Rep. Phyllis Kahn, PhD, MPA, is a member of the Minnesota legislature serving her 19th term. Her legislative interests include pension and investment policy, science and technology (most recently, DNA testing and the role of biotechnology in agriculture), information policy, natural resources, and women's rights. She has been the chief author of the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act (controlling smoking in public places), computer crime and computer virus laws, and legislation on nuclear safety, radioactive waste disposal, field tests of genetically modified crops, and infectious waste disposal. Rep. Kahn has also authored laws to require gender equity in athletics and laws prohibiting discrimination based on age or disability. She has been instrumental in obtaining funding for parks, trails, historic preservation, art-enhancement of state buildings, and the expansion of community and urban forests. She has served on many national committees, particularly in the field of science and public policy. She has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Chair of the AAAS section on "General Interest in Science and Engineering." Rep. Kahn received a PhD in Biophysics from Yale and a MPA from the J.F.K. School of Government at Harvard University.
Vanessa Laird, MA, JD, is an Executive Leadership Fellow, Center for Integrative Leadership, University of Minnesota and former General Counsel, Optum. She was previously Vice President and Senior Counsel for Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management and Neuromodulation businesses, as well as Senior Legal Counsel (based in Tolochenaz, Switzerland) for Medtronic Europe, Middle East and Africa. Prior to Medtronic, she was an International Affairs Fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations and practiced U.S. and international law in the Legal Adviser's Office at the U.S. Department of State. She was also on the Faculty of Laws at the University of Sheffield in England and clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for Judge Stephen Trott . Vanessa serves as a board member and mentor on the Joint Degree Program Advisory Board through the University of Minnesota Joint Degree Program in Law, Health & the Life Sciences. Vanessa holds a B.A. from Williams College, magna cum laude with highest honors in English, a B.A. Hons/M.A. from Oxford University (Worcester College), and a J.D. from Stanford, where she was an Associate Editor of the Stanford Law Review.
Kim Otte, JD, MA, has been Legal Counsel at Mayo Clinic Rochester since 2002. Ms. Otte focuses her practice on regulatory compliance issues, including HIPAA, Medicare, and fraud and abuse. She is also a member of the Mayo Ethics Consult Service and the Mayo Reproductive Medicine Advisory Board. Ms. Otte participates in education of the medical school students, residents, and nurses at Mayo. Ms. Otte is an active member of the Fraud and Abuse Practice Group of the American Health Lawyers Association. Prior to joing Mayo Clinic, Ms. Otte worked for Medica Health Plans in their legal and public policy department and for Halleland Lewis in their Health Law Practice Group. Ms. Otte has been an adjunct professor of Health Law at the University of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law, and Hamline University School of Law. Ms. Otte holds a JD from the University of Minnesota and a Masters in Philosophy from the University of Minnesota, with areas of expertise in biomedical ethics and feminist philosophy.
Mary Prentnieks, JD, MPH, Medica Health Plans, is Senior Dir. Associate General Counsel at Medica Health Plans. Through her work at Medica, she provides legal counsel to Medica Health Plans’ government program areas and supervises department attorneys working in the areas of provider contracting, pharmacy, privacy, IT and contract management. Prior to her employment at Medica, Mary has worked at places such as the Minnesota Medical Association, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Novartis Nutrition Corporation. In the past, she has participated in the mentoring program at the University of St. Thomas Law School. In addition to being an active member and past-Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Health Law Section, she is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, the Health Care Compliance Association, and the Minnesota Council of Health Plans Legal & Regulatory Subcommittee. Mary earned her JD from Georgetown University and her MPH from Harvard University. She also holds a BS in Nursing from Loyola University of Chicago.
Winthrop A. Rockwell, JD, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, concentrates on commercial and product liability litigation. He is a member of Faegre Baker Daniels' Management Committee, where his responsibilities include practice development, strategy and international matters. Mr. Rockwell served for 6 months in 1979 as Associate General Counsel of President Carter's Commission on the Accident at Three Mile Island. He has served as a board member of various Minnesota nonprofit organizations, is a current member of the Minnesota Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Mr. Rockwell is a Fellow of the British-American Project founded by the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies. Before law school, he worked on the foreign desk of the New York Times and as an Assistant to the President of Dartmouth College. Mr. Rockwell received his JD from New York University.
Mark Rotenberg, JD, MA, MPhil, has served as the University of Minnesota's General Counsel since 1992. Previously he was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney, specializing in employment litigation and labor law. He served in the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel, which provides legal counsel to the President, White House staff, and heads of the Executive Departments. Mr. Rotenberg also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Patricia M. Wald, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit. He earned his BA magna cum laude, from Brandeis University, and his MA, MPhil, and JD degrees from Columbia University, where he also served as an Editor of the Columbia Law Review. He is a member of the American Law Institute (ALI), and is an Adjunct Professor in both the Law School and the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota.
Ann L. Russell, JD, MSW, is a lawyer with 25 years of experience in advising health care entities. She is currently the Lead Ethics Consultant at Hennepin County Medical Center. Prior to this role, she was an Associate Counsel for Catholic Health Initiatives, a national nonprofit organization with over 78 hospitals, clinics, and skilled nursing facilities, she has also represented the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinic and Hennepin County's Medical Center and Community Health Department. Ms. Russell has extensive experience in advising health care providers on transactional, operational, regulatory, and patient care matters as well as ethical dilemmas. She is currently a member of the Ethics Committees of the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Fairview, and Hennepin County Medical Center, and serves on the Ethics Advisory Committee to the Archbishop of St. Paul, MN. She served for 10 years on the Advisory Board to the University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics. Ms. Russell teaches biomedical ethics at William Mitchell College of Law. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Russell was a psychiatric social worker in Hennepin County's Mental Health Center.
Paul Savereide, JD, PhD, earned his JD and PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Savereide is Associate General Counsel, Senior Intellectual Property Counsel and Patents for the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Minnesota. Prior to this position, he was Of Counsel with Viksnins, Harris & Padys PLLP and before that was a Senior Associate at Patterson, Thuente, Skaar, and Christensen, a Minneapolis law firm specializing in intellectual property law. He has been a Senior Intellectual Property Attorney at Cargill, Inc. and Corporate Patent Counsel for Chiron Corporation in Emeryville, CA and also worked as an Associate with the Minneapolis office of the Dorsey & Whitney law firm. He is a member of the Minnesota Bar and is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Attorney.
Byron E. Starns, JD, is a shareholder and partner at the firm of Leonard, Street and Deinard, practicing in the areas of environmental and public law, energy, and regulated industries. He chaired the firm's Litigation Division from 2002-08. Mr. Starns served as Minnesota Chief Deputy Attorney General (1974-79) and Deputy Attorney General for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (1973-74). He is admitted to practice in the State of Minnesota, the State of Illinois, before the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, and before the U.S. Supreme Court. He earned his JD at the University of Chicago and his BA at Duke University.
Martin Stillman, JD, MD, practices internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center and is Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is both a Fellow and elected Board Member of the American College of Legal Medicine and is currently serving a second term as President of the Minnesota Medical Alumni Society. His academic work includes teaching of medical error, malpractice, and risk management to second-year students at the University of Minnesota Medical School, and he serves on the Advisory Committee for the monthly publication, Minnesota Medicine. Dr. Stillman graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1993 and the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1997. He completed his training in internal medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center in 2000 and then served one year as Chief Resident. During his residency, he was recognized as an outstanding teacher, winning a Minnesota Medical Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award.
Scott Strand, JD is the executive director of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), the legal and scientific voice defending Minnesota’s environment. Scott was appointed Executive Director in December 2009, following years of assisting MCEA as a pro bono attorney on several legal issues, including mining issues, drawing on his experience with the Reserve and LTV bankruptcy cases. Scott was a 17-year veteran at the Minnesota Attorney General’s office, serving for years as the chief counsel for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. He left in 1999 to join the law firm of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, where he was a general litigation partner before setting up his own litigation and government relations practice in 2006. He was born in Ada, Minnesota in the Red River Valley and grew up on a farm where his family raised sugar beets, feed grains, and livestock. He earned a bachelors degree in social studies from Harvard in 1979 and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1982.
Margo S. Struthers, JD, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, is Chair of the firm's Health Law Practice Group. She represents a variety of health care clients, including hospitals and other health care providers, provider associations, managed care and other insurance companies, and medical manufacturers. Her practice involves organizational structure and other issues affecting nonprofit, professional, and business organizations in health care. She also has substantial experience related to health care contracts, institutional and professional licensure, HMO and insurance regulation, fraud and abuse and other compliance issues, director and officer liability, conflict of interest and tax exemption issues, medical staff bylaws and credentialing, bioethical issues, and health information and confidentiality issues. In addition to being an active member and past-Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Health Law Section, she is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association and is a past-President of the Minnesota chapter of the former American Academy of Healthcare Attorneys. Ms. Struthers has also written and lectured extensively on a variety of health care, third-party payment, tax exemption, and other nonprofit organization issues. She is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School teaching a seminar on Health Care Fraud and Abuse. She received her JD at the University of Minnesota.
Judith Walker, JD, is Vice President of Internal Audit, Risk Management and Consumer Affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Ms. Walker is responsible for bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluating the effectiveness of risk management, internal controls and governance processes. She is responsible for developing and implementing an annual audit plan designed to assess the efficacy of operations, reliability of financial reporting, safeguarding of assets, and compliance with laws and regulations. Ms. Walker is also responsible for fraud, waste and abuse prevention and detection, and for ensuring that the organization fulfills contractual, regulatory and accreditation obligations regarding customer and provider appeals and grievances. Ms. Walker has held several positions at Blue Cross since joining the company in 1989, most recently serving as Chief Ethics, Compliance and Privacy Officer. Ms. Walker also serves on the advisory boards of Hamline’s Health Law Institute, is an ardent supporter of the Minnesota Literacy Council, and has served as board chair of and a volunteer ESL instructor for the organization. Ms. Walker received her undergraduate degree from St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota and her law degree from Hamline University School of Law.