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Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
500 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Kathleen Hoke, J.D.
Kathleen Hoke, J.D., is the director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy (LRC) at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, where she is also a Law School Professor. Kathleen is director of the Network for Public Health Law’s Eastern Region.
With the LRC, Kathleen supports Maryland policymakers, legislators, public health officials, and community organizations as they work through legal issues related to tobacco control and prevention, regulation of gambling, and injury prevention. Kathleen tracks relevant legislation considered each year by the Maryland General Assembly and provides input to legislators on proposed laws. She collaborates extensively with the Maryland Association of County Health Officers, giving them voice through submission of comments on federal regulations and amicus curiae briefs in relevant litigation.
As director of the Network’s Eastern Region, Kathleen covers myriad issues, including injury prevention; housing law and policy; regulation of cannabis, alcohol, and tobacco; food security; maternal and child health; and oral health. Kathleen is an expert on the sources and scope of state and local public health powers and is examining changes in laws impacting public health authority that have been proposed and passed in response to public health agency action during the pandemic. All of this work centers health equity with deep focus on law and policy that diminishes the detrimental impact of structural racism.
As Law School Professor, Kathleen directs the Public Health Law Clinic (formerly the Tobacco Control Clinic) and teaches Public Health and the Law and Legal Analysis and Writing. Kathleen is faculty advisor to the Journal of Health Care Law and Policy and to the University of Maryland Association of Legislative Law. Kathleen engages in significant interdisciplinary work on the University of Maryland, Baltimore, campus, which is home to schools of medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, and social work. Recent interdisciplinary work includes serving on the President’s White Paper Project on Health Literacy, engaging on the UMB-funded team project Interdisciplinary Strategies for Managing Maternal Opioid Use Disorder, and participating as part of a group of law professors and social work faculty on a project to use interdisciplinary approaches to eviction prevention. Since 2018, Kathleen has served on UMB’s interdisciplinary CARES (Center for Addiction, Research, Education and Service) team and provides support to the UMB School of Medicine’s Center of Excellence on Problem Gambling. This interdisciplinary work has resulted in co-authored publications across the spectrum, including in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics; Injury Prevention; Journal of Urban Health; Journal of Health Care Law and Policy; and the Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved.
Kathleen has supervised innumerable attorneys and law students working for the Eastern Region and LRC, supporting many in launching their public health careers and transitioning into positions at the federal, state, and local level. This includes positions with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Library of Congress, Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, Office of the Attorney General of Maryland for the Department of the Environment, state and local health departments and legislative services agencies, private law firms, and legal and public health academia. Kathleen takes seriously her role as mentor and in growing public health law practice.
Kathleen was given the UMB President’s Award for Excellence in 2020 and in 2016 received the Jennifer Robbins Award for the Practice of Public Health Law by the American Public Health Association Law Section. Since 2020, Kathleen has served on the editorial board of the CDC’s publication, Preventing Chronic Disease. She serves a variety of professional organizations and has been appointed by Maryland’s Governor to the Maryland State Council on Cancer Control.
After receiving her B.S. from Towson University in 1989, Kathleen graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1992. She completed a clerkship with the Honorable Lawrence Rodowsky of the Maryland Court of Appeals and served with distinction as an Assistant Attorney General and Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Maryland prior to joining the School of Law.
Brooke Torton, J.D., is a senior staff attorney at the Network’s Eastern Region Office and the Managing Director for the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy (LRC). Brooke’s current work focuses on tobacco law and policy and threats aimed at public health officials and public health authority.
At LRC, Brooke develops toolkits and policy papers on specific issues, drafts legislation, conducts in-person and virtual training sessions for public health professionals, and generally supports the development of public health law. She also supervises students enrolled in the Clinical Law Program working on public health law projects, students working as externs for the LRC or the Network and research assistants for the two centers.
Brooke graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.A. in Psychology in 2009. In 2012, she graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she served as Co-President of the Maryland Public Interest Law Project (MPILP) and Executive Symposium Editor for the Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class. Subsequent to graduation and prior to her employment with the Network, Brooke worked as a judicial law clerk followed by three years of litigation in criminal and domestic law.
Megan Griest, M.P.P.
Chief of staff
Megan Griest, M.P.P., is the Chief of Staff for Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.
Megan provides important oversight of LRC operations, including fiscal and grant management, compliance, and reporting; tracking, evaluation, and reporting of LRC activities and deliverables; planning and implementation of conferences, symposia, and other events; and assures easy communication between and among involved faculty and students and external contacts. Megan holds a B.A. in political science from Susquehanna University and an M.P.P. in Health Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Blair Inniss, J.D., M.A.
Blair Inniss, J.D., M.A., is Deputy Director of the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law. In this position, Blair works to advance tobacco control policy across Maryland and the country through advocacy, coalition building, and legal epidemiology. Blair also supervises students enrolled in the Clinical Law Program working on public health law projects, and students working as externs and research assistants for the center.
Blair received her M.A. in Public Communication from American University in Washington, DC and is a 2013 graduate of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, where she was a Leadership Scholar and earned a certificate in Health Law. After law school, Blair worked as a health policy analyst for the Maryland Department of Health where she gained experience in program and contract management as the state coordinator for Healthiest Maryland Businesses and worked on legislation and regulations for the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration. She also worked at The Hilltop Institute where she conducted legislative and legal analysis for state health agencies including the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and the Health Services Cost Review Commission.