Skip to main content
LawAtlas Success Stories:
  • Kelly Thompson, Esq.
    Health Policy Expert
  • Laura Thomas, MPH, MPP
    Deputy State Director, California, of the Drug Policy Alliance
  • Alessandra Ross, MPH
    Injection Drug Use Specialist
  • Bryce Pardo, PhD
    Associate Director, Drug Policy Research Center; Policy Researcher
  • Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, PhD
    Professor of global health policy in the Dept. of Public Policy and the Dept. of Health Policy and Mgmt. at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • Darrell Klein, JD
    Deputy Director of Public Health Nebraska DHHS at State of Nebraska
  • Manel Kappagoda, JD, MPH
    Program Director and Senior Staff Attorney ChangeLab Solutions Oakland, CA
  • Emalie Huriaux, MPH
    Integration, Hepatitis C, and Drug User Health Program Manager for the Washington State Department of Health
  • Rachel Hulkower, JD, MSPH
    Public Health Analyst at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Micah Berman, JD
    Associate professor of public health and law at The Ohio State University's College of Public Health and Michael E. Moritz College of Law
  • Maya Doe-Simkins, MPH
    Public health educator, researcher and consultant
  • Nabarun Dasgupta, MPH, PhD
    Epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • LawAtlas Success Stories:

    User Success Stories

    Click a name below to view their story, or browse all stories to the right.

    Program Director and Senior Staff Attorney ChangeLab Solutions Oakland, CA
    "When our dataset changes in the future it will be relatively easy to update it — it’s easier than in normal legal research to see where those changes are."

    Manel’s story:

    I was an RWJF Public Health Law Research program grantee. We were trying to understand the nuisances of prescription drug monitoring programs, and there are a lot of differences between states and changes over time. Policy surveillance was useful in cataloging that information, which we then combined with outcome data and used in analysis of how effective PDMPs have been.

    As an epidemiologist, I saw value in working with legal research colleagues so that we were not blindly using dichotomous variables in our research without understanding how they were derived. The legal research gave us an additional discriminatory power to understand differences between states that had these databases, and allowed us to find more nuisance between them, instead of relying on whether at PDMP was simply there or not. It allowed us to ask more interesting questions and allowed us to more systematically collect that information.

    Beyond that, having an independent and reproducible methodology to monitor policy change disentangles the potential conflict of interest of the people who are enacting the policies. It prevents bias.

    Nabarun Dasgupta is an epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.