July 15, 2020
Health care and health care law and policy come together in Sacramento like few other places in the country. After all, Sacramento is home to the state Capitol, medical and administrative offices for the health care industry, and McGeorge School of Law.
Larry Levine, recently named McGeorge’s Gordon D. Schaber Chair in Health Law and Policy, sees great possibility in teaching law students and leading law scholars in providing nonpartisan guidance and input as the nation surges toward health care reform.
“There is so much opportunity and I’m excited by that,” said Levine of the honor named after Schaber who served as dean of the law school for 34 years. “Obviously, it’s meaningful that it’s named after Gordon Schaber because of all his influence on the development of the law school. I am truly grateful.” Levine said COVID-19 brought heightened attention for the need for national health care reform.
Schaber had a deep interest in health care’s legal and policy issues, and believed legal scholarship was vital in developing best practices and policies for health providers, health insurers, drug companies and the government. Schaber conceived the endowed chair to allow McGeorge access to top scholars and provide the law school with the flexibility to address the broadest, most crucial health care law and policy, such as those on AIDS, bioterrorism, privacy issues, the “graying” of the nation, and a national public health policy.
“We are at a pivotal time in health care and health care law and policy,” said Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean of the law school. “Prof. Levine has the expertise and personality to provide the necessary guidance and context to policymakers as we all move toward health care reform. Our students will also benefit greatly from those experiences that expose them to discussions in state government on future health care law and policies.”
Levine said he was “humbled” by the selection for the chair and has appreciated that his McGeorge colleagues have been very supportive and encouraging. Recently he has co-taught a course with a mixture of law students and UC Davis medical students and has a growing interest in public health issues. He has expertise in civil injury, medical malpractice and, in the 1980s, legal questions that came along with the HIV crisis.
With the Sacramento Campus home to both McGeorge and the new School of Health Sciences, Levine sees great potential in expanding interprofessional education. Already students in Pacific’s various health-related schools share classrooms to learn from each other and better prepare for the holistic team care they will give patients during their careers. McGeorge students hopefully will soon sit beside students from the School of Health Sciences, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry to learn from each other and learn about each other’s fields.
“I’m obsessed with making that happen,” Levine said. “It certainly is one of my goals to have more of that interprofessional learning involving our law students with the health-related schools.”
He gained a perspective on what can be learned in interprofessional education when he taught a dental malpractice course for Dugoni students.
“It’s one of the very favorite things that I’ve ever done,” he said.
Levine’s enthusiasm goes beyond his appointment.
“I love what I’ve seen happening at the law school,” Levine said. “There have been a lot of positive changes. I’m really excited about the future of the law school. I’m optimistic too about the future of the university under the leadership of the new president (Christopher Callahan).”