Fall 2005

Leadership Profile: Lourdes Rivera

Lourdes A. Rivera, Co-chair of the Section’s Health Rights and Bioethics Committee, has been a Section member since 2003. Since becoming Chair of the Committee, she and her Committee Co-Chair, Susan Berke Fogel, have worked on many health-related issues including the development of the ABA’s policy on patients’ rights and refusals clauses, which was adopted by the ABA House of Delegates in February 2005. The two also spearheaded the Section’s involvement in the adoption of ABA policy in August 2005, supporting the continuing entitlement nature of Medicaid programs.

Lourdes holds a B.A. from Yale University and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She was recently appointed as a member-at-large for the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Action Board and is active in APHA’s Latino Caucus and Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Section. She serves on the Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Health and Sexuality Rights Collective and is Co-founder and Advisory Board Member of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice.

Since 1994, Lourdes has been with the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), working to improve and expand access to quality health care for low-income communities, with specific expertise in Medicaid, managed care and children’s and women’s health. Since 1999, she also has directed NHeLP’s Initiative to Promote Reproductive Health for Low-Income Women.

Lourdes says she looks forward to involving more Section members in the work of the Committee as it explores ways to support and increase access to health care. She also is excited about this year’s Committee work plan, which, in addition to seeking ways to implement the policies on patient’s access to health information and on the Medicaid program, includes establishing healthcare as a human right in the United States; developing an MCLE program on the health care needs of prisoners and detainees; developing a policy on appropriate government access to health information; and drafting a white paper on “Beyond Schiavo: Next Steps on Health Rights and Judicial Independence.”

For more information about the Committee on Health and Bioethics, contact Lourdes at rivera@healthlaw.org.

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