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Karen DeSalvo on ‘The Week in Health Law’ Podcast

For over two decades, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, in conjunction with the IU School of Medicine, has conferred the McDonald-Merrill-Ketcham Memorial Award for Excellence in Law and Medicine.

This year’s honoree was Dr. Karen DeSalvo, who is currently Professor of Medicine and Population Health at the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School. She served in the Obama Administration as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, and previously was the Health Commissioner for the City of New Orleans.

I am very grateful to Dr. DeSalvo for making her remarks available on TWIHL. Her talk begins in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, explains zip code health, emphasizes the roles of Social Determinants of Health, demonstrates how social determinants impact particular health outcomes, presents a systematic model for dealing with social determinants, explains Public Health 3.0, and discusses the gap between health and social care spending.

Along the way, Dr. DeSalvo also discusses the role of technologies such as ride share companies disrupting social services and digital assistants such as Amazon Echo acquiring more health information.

The Week in Health Law Podcast from Nicolas Terry is a commuting-length discussion about some of the more thorny issues in health law and policy. Subscribe at Apple Podcasts or Google Play, listen at Stitcher Radio, Spotify, Tunein or Podbean.

Show notes and more are at If you have comments, an idea for a show or a topic to discuss you can find me on Twitter @nicolasterry @WeekInHealthLaw.

Subscribe to TWIHL here!

Nicolas P. Terry

Nicolas Terry is the Hall Render Professor of Law at Indiana University McKinney School of Law where he serves as the Executive Director of the Hall Center for Law and Health and teaches various healthcare and health policy courses. His recent scholarship has dealt with health privacy, mobile health, the Internet of Things, Big Data, AI, and the opioid overdose epidemic. He serves on IU’s Grand Challenges Scientific Leadership Team, working on the addictions crisis and is the PI on addictions law and policy Grand Challenge grants. His podcast is at, and he is @nicolasterry on Twitter.

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