Two health law students win national writing awards

CWRU Law School Students Allison Smith and Nicolette Cregan

Allison Smith and Nicolette Cregan, both third-year law students at Case Western Reserve University, recently won prestigious national writing awards and $1,000 each for their notes.

Smith’s note, “Preserving the Possibility of a Future Biological Family: The Call for State-Mandated Insurance Coverage of Fertility Preservation in Youth Patients Where Primary Treatment Causes Sterility,” won the Dukeminier Award given each year by UCLA and the Williams Institute. Her submission will be published later this year in The Dukeminier Awards Journal of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law.

Cregan’s note, “Grasping Gainsharing: A Business Approach to American Healthcare?” took third place in Division I of the American Bar Association’s Public Contract Law Journal writing competition.

Smith’s piece acts as a blueprint for lawmakers to address young patients’ right to a family. Transgender youth patients, who may face infertility due to the medical treatment of their condition should not be denied insurance coverage for fertility preservation, the note argues.

Cregan’s paper is about the business model of gainsharing used in hospitals to combat inefficient spending methods. Her note addresses concerns about the model, and proposes how legislation should implement mandatory safeguards in order to protect patients, doctors and hospitals.

“I’m incredibly proud of Allison and Nicolette, both of whom were diligent throughout the writing process. From crafting their arguments, researching, writing and revising, both students displayed their dedication to quality, and, as we can see, their hard work paid off,” said Professor Sharona Hoffman, Co-Director of the Law-Medicine Center and Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine advisor.

Cregan is managing editor of Health Matrix, and she plans to work at EY (formerly Ernst & Young) in downtown Cleveland after graduation. Smith will join Taff Stettinius & Hollister LLP as an associate in their health law practice group.

Cregan’s award marks the fourth national writing award a Health Matrix editor won in recent years.

  • Elizabeth Burnett won a second place award last year for her paper, “Solving the Uncertainty: Why the HIPAA Privacy Rule Fails to Appropriately Address Disclosures of Psychotherapy Notes of Deceased Patients.”
  • Michael Hattery won the top award in the 2017 National Sports Law Student Writing Competition for his article, “Major League Baseball Players, Big Datak, and the Right to Know: The Duty of Major League Baseball Teams to Disclose Health Modeling Analysis to Their Players.”
  • Lauren Tonti won first place in the American University Washington College of Law National Health Law Writing Competition in 2017 for her article, “Food for Thought: Flexible Farm to School Procurement Policies Can Surmount Access Barriers to Fresh, Healthy School Meals.”

Case Western Reserve University School of Law’s health law program is currently ranked 5th in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.