New director aims to widen
scope of health
to improve technology and reach the community
Daily Cougar Staff
The new year brought a new director to
the UH Law Center's Health Law and Policy Institute, one of the top health
law institutes in the nation.
Mary Anne Bobinski, who moved to Houston
11 years ago to join the faculty of the institute, said her first action
in the post will be to try to expand its reach to the general community,
a pioneer idea for the institute.
Bobinski, the first woman ever to direct
the institute, said she is looking forward to the future.
"Health law is a really exciting area of
law to be studying and learning about," she said. "The next 10 years we
will see more development in health care that will require more care and
response from lawyers and government officials."
The duties of the director include developing
and overseeing the curriculum, directing the research projects, and other
public service components.
"We hope to be able to make a contribution
and helping society determine how to react when an issue comes up (in the
law)," she said.
The institute was founded in the 1980s
to facilitate the development of courses and research projects and the
newly emerging intersection between law, public policy and medicine, Bobinski
The center offers courses that include
a look at government regulations and social policies, she said.
The government, in fact, is the institute's
largest customer. The institute conducts research on health law and policies
when requested by the Texas Legislature.
Currently, the institute is researching
telemedicine for the Legislature, Bobinski said.
"Advances in technology is making it possible
to use Web cameras and the Internet to do diagnosis and sometimes even
treatment," she said.
The Legislature is studying laws and regulations
on that kind of service in regards to insurance, license to perform medicine
and how to provide technology to isolated counties.
For 2001, the institute and the Texas Children's
Hospital are planning on developing Child Health Insurance Law Drive which
will involve volunteer students and lawyers who will register children
for health insurance.
The public service arena is another area
Bobinski wants to develop.
"We've affected the public indirectly,"
she said, referring to the work with hospitals and the legislatures. "We
now want to do grassroots work."