“Though we weren’t sure if South Dakota had a need for this kind of collaboration, the turnout was incredible,” said Cameron Morgan, current law student and Health Law Society founder. “It is our hope that attendees learned ways that they can work with state legislators, documentation specialists, in-house counsel and coworkers to enact the changes they hope to see.”

The panel, which was the first of its kind at USD and featured experts spanning both the legal and medical fields, included the following panelists.

  • Dr. Michael Wilde, Sanford Health vice president medical officer
  • Chad Jungman, J.D., Sanford Legal Department vice president
  • Sarah Theophilus, J.D., U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Renee Ullom, PA-C, Sanford Health
  • Sydney Davis, CRNA, South Dakota State Senate Representative, District 17

“This was a fabulous event that we put on in coordination with Katie Kassin, assistant professor of physician assistant (PA) studies, and PA student Reann Schlenker,” said Teramie Hill, director of career services at the law school. “It had knowledgeable speakers and a speed-networking event that connected medical and legal professionals in a meaningful way. We've never had an event like this in the past, and I’m so proud of Cameron’s hard work to bring everyone together.”

Morgan had a career in the medical field before attending the USD Knudson School of Law. Understanding that health care professionals and attorneys often need to work together to ensure patients receive high-quality care, Morgan created the Health Law Society in October 2022 to create opportunities for students to learn about how the two professions can work together to create meaningful policies for patient care.

With over 40 active members, the student organization seeks to teach members about potential careers dealing with health and the law, increase understanding of health care law, create networking opportunities, and bridge the gap between the legal and medical fields.

Looking forward, the Health Law Society is preparing a simulation event for legal and health science students. Students will review a medical case study filled with potential issues that both medical and legal professionals will face when they are out in practice. Under supervising experts, the two groups will work together to point out problems and come up with solutions. The organization also hopes to host annual medical and legal panels in the future.

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Hanna DeLange
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