In 2020 Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine published its 30th volume. Ranked 3rd among all specialty journals in the fields of health, medicine, psychology and psychiatry law, it stands out as a prominent resource for health law scholars.
In the early 1980s, a group of graduate and professional students at Case Western Reserve University Schools of Law, Medicine, and Management decided to create an interdisciplinary health care journal, which they called Health Matrix. Duncan Neuhauser, a renowned professor of medicine and health management, agreed to be the faculty editor. The first issue of the journal, which was published by a for-profit publisher in a magazine format, appeared in 1983. In 1991, the law school brought the journal in-house as a student-edited journal of law and medicine.
Each annual issue of Health Matrix includes articles by national scholars, along with student notes, written under the supervision of Professor Sharona Hoffman, the journal’s advisor. It also features articles that grow out of a symposium on a significant health law topic. Recent symposium topics include corporate wellness programs, reproductive rights controversies, health disparities, medical big data and environmental health law.
Students are selected for the journal based on their grades and a writing competition. Once chosen to be associate editors, students complete a major research paper, while providing support to the journal's executive board. Approximately one-third of the students’ notes are selected for publication by the journal’s staff, and one note is designated “Note of the Year,” an award that carries a cash prize.
Professor Sharona Hoffman, the journal’s advisor, loves her work with the journal.
“It is such a pleasure to start pretty much with a blank slate at the beginning of the year and end up with a published volume and a collection of strong student papers by the end of the year,” said Hoffman. “So many of the students end up with papers that are truly of publishable quality and I learn so much from them.”
Volume 30’s student notes addressed the following topics:
- Regulating the commercial space industry to ensure human health;
- How the U.S. can address its climbing maternal mortality rate;
- Mandatory arrest laws in the domestic violence context; and
- Using genetic tests to establish minority states for affirmative action and other benefits