erin-dexter-websiteErin Dexter
Communications and Events Assistant
(202) 994-6930

Erin Dexter is a Communications and Events Assistant with the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. She graduated from the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, with a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and Spanish. Ms. Dexter is a former communications and development intern for World Central Kitchen, and has done volunteer work in Asia. She studied abroad in Central America, and is fluent in Spanish.

Sharena Hagins 1Sharena Hagins, MPH, CHES
Research Associate
(202) 994-4289

Sharena Hagins is a Research Associate with the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. Prior to joining the team, she worked on prevention research studies with the University of Maryland, School of Medicine, and a variety of community health initiatives throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Ms. Hagins is a first generation college graduate and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to her education, Ms. Hagins has met the national standards for health education practitioners by obtaining a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) designation.

Ellen Lawton website

Ellen Lawton, JD
Co-Principal Investigator
(617) 549-1733
Twitter Bird @ellawton

Ellen Lawton, JD is a Principal Investigator and Lead Research Scientist at the George Washington University where she leads the University’s National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

An expert in poverty law generally, Ms. Lawton is a lead editor of the 2011 textbook, Poverty, Health & Law: Readings from Medical-Legal Partnership. Ms. Lawton is internationally recognized for her leadership in developing the medical-legal partnership approach, and has published an array of articles describing this work in both clinical and legal journals.

Ms. Lawton received the 2011 Innovations in Legal Services Award from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, is chair of the board of directors at Health Imperatives and is a member of the board of directors of Community Resources for Justice. She also serves on the national advisory committee for the Primary Care Leadership Program.

Marple website 2Kate Marple, MSc
Director of Communications
(617) 206-1042

Kate Marple is a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Health Policy and Management at The George Washington University, and is the Director of Communications for its National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. She focuses on how partnerships across sectors can develop common language to foster collaboration, and trains civil legal aid and health care leaders to develop and message a shared mission. Ms. Marple recently authored the messaging guide, “Framing Legal Care as Health Care,” and has published articles both on building common language across sectors and on nonprofit storytelling.

Ms. Marple is also currently a lecturer in the Department of Human Services at Northeastern University, where she developed and teaches the joint undergraduate / graduate course, “Strategic Communications for Nonprofit Organizations.” She previously worked as a Communications Officer at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and the Children’s Mental Health Campaign. She earned a Bachelors from Northeastern University in Human Services and History, and a Masters in Nationalism Studies from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Ms. Marple is also a documentary playwright.

Marsha Regenstein WebsiteMarsha Regenstein, PhD
Director of Research and Evaluation

Marsha Regenstein is a Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University. She also directs the DrPH Program Director for the Milken Institute School of Public Health. Professor Regenstein is the Director of Research and Evaluation for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Dr. Regenstein has conducted dozens of studies that focus on the availability, quality, and cost of care for underserved individuals. Dr. Regenstein is the principal investigator for a HRSA-funded evaluation of the Teaching Health Center program created by the Affordable Care Act. She has a particular expertise in language services delivery and quality as well as the health care safety net. Previously, Dr. Regenstein was director of the National Public Health and Hospital Institute and vice president of the Economic and Social Research Institute.

Joel Teitelbaum websiteJoel Teitelbaum, JD, LLM
Co-Principal Investigator

Joel Teitelbaum is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and of Law in the Milken Institute School of Public Health and the School of Law at the George Washington University. He also serves as co-Principal Investigator of the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership and as Director of GW’s Hirsh Health Law and Policy Program, which fosters an interdisciplinary approach to the study of health law, health policy, health care, and public health through educational and research opportunities for law students, health professions students, and practicing lawyers.

Professor Teitelbaum’s teaching and research focuses on the various intersections among health law, civil rights, population health, health disparities, and social determinants of health. He is the lead author of Essentials of Health Policy and Law, Third Edition (2017), and he has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed articles, reports, book chapters, policy briefs, and blogs on topics as diverse as health care civil rights, Medical-Legal Partnership, insurance law, health reform implementation, and behavioral health care quality. Professor Teitelbaum has lectured at many leading universities and national conferences and has directed research projects for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the D.C. Department of Health, the Commonwealth Fund, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured, the Center for Health Care Strategies, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  In addition, Professor Teitelbaum was co-recipient of The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Investigator Award in Health Policy Research, which he used to explore the creation of a new framework for applying Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to the modern health care system.

Near the end of President Obama’s second term, Professor Teitelbaum was named to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary’s Advisory Committee on National Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Objectives for 2030 (i.e., Healthy People 2030).  He also serves as Special Advisor to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Veterans’ Legal Services and as a member of the Board of Advisors of PREPARE, a national advanced care planning organization.

Jen Trott websiteJennifer Trott, MPH
Research Scientist

Jennifer Trott is a Research Scientist in the Department of Health Policy and Management at The George Washington University. Her focus is on integrating critical services, including civil legal aid, into the health care setting to improve the health of vulnerable populations. She manages performance and outcomes measurement activities for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership.

Ms. Trott has several years of experience supporting quality improvement projects in hospital settings, and was closely involved in the development of the first ever performance measures for the delivery of language services to be adopted by the National Quality Clearinghouse for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. She is the lead author on “Building a High-Quality Language Services Program Toolkit”. Ms. Trott most recently served as the Associate Director for a statewide coalition working to advance children’s health. Prior to that, she served as Communications Director for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s flagship health care program, Aligning Forces for Quality. She holds a BA from Wellesley College and a Masters of Public Health in Health Policy from The George Washington University.

Alanna Williamson
Senior Research Assistant
(202) 994-4102

Alanna Williamson is a senior research assistant in the Department of Health Policy and Management at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Alanna conducts research and analysis for the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership. Her work focuses on assessing the operations and outcomes of civil legal aid services in the health care setting, including screening for health-harming legal needs and tracking the financial benefits of legal interventions.

Prior to joining the George Washington University, Alanna worked for the Kaiser Family Foundation. In this role, she managed the State Health Facts web site, an online data collection that contains more than 800 state-level health indicators on health coverage, health status, and policy that is free to the public. Alanna’s areas of expertise include health coverage for low-income and vulnerable populations, quality improvement, and health reform. Alanna received her B.A. in Public Health Policy and Management from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She is currently pursuing her Master of Public Health at the George Washington University.