Building Health Policy Experts from the Grassroots: Meet our Featured Student Attorneys


Nicole and Katie worked with CHEP as third year Ph.D. students. Nicole’s research interests involved addressing structural injustices that affect the health and health outcomes of the African American community. Katie was part of a group of public health students working with CHEP to scale up patient level problems to create policy level solutions for low income populations. Nicole helped to represent an undocumented family with a severely disabled child whose primary need was for accessible housing, while Katy represented a family whose lives were changed by moving them out of uninhabitable, bug-infested housing. Nicole formulated a Leadership Group of DPH students focused on developing policy initiatives to share with Colorado Legislators.


Alejandro worked with CHEP while interning with Katherine Blair, Director of Governor Hickenlooper’s Health Policy office for the State of Colorado. Alejandro represented families whose immigration status could be regularized to give them access to employment and health benefits to address chronic health needs. Alejandro also is a member of Colorado Law’s first Health Law Transactional Moot Court Team.


“Working with the Health Equity Project not only gave me the opportunity to develop practical skills, such as research and writing, but also gave me the opportunity to work on a team of excellent attorneys to help a client. For me, the most rewarding part of the experience was working directly with a client and seeing how the legal skills I’m developing can be used to help people who might not otherwise have access to legal assistance.”


“It is one thing to listen to a lecture about how socioeconomic status drives health disparities. It is quite another to see those disparities in the faces of your clients, and to be depended on to help those on the fringes of society. My first-ever clients, a very poor family suffering from multiple physical and mental ailments, were despondent and losing hope when CHEP first contacted them. Through herculean efforts from a passionate team of doctors, social workers, lawyers, and students, they were moved out of their horrible living situation and into a safe, clean home. Perhaps most inspiring was the family’s transformation into a force fighting for their own cause. For my own sake, whether I represent people individually or work on a broader scale, this family and their story will never be far from my thoughts.”


David represented two CHEP clients, working with three supervising attorneys. In one case he filed an appeal to reinstate SSI and SSDI benefits for a client severely injured in an automobile accident, and in another he filed to obtain FEMA remediation to remove mold from COPD patient’s home. David also found time to publish an excellent student note on confidentiality and guardians ad litem in Colorado’s dependency and neglect system, available here