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Member Spotlight: Sidney Watson

Whether it’s giving a presentation, networking with other attendees, or promoting the Health Law Scholars Program, Professor Sidney Watson has played an important role at the annual Health Law Professors Conference. It seems only fitting that Watson and her colleagues at St. Louis University School of Law will serve as hosts of this year’s conference.

Watson is on the faculty of the School’s Center for Health Law Studies and serves as the Jane and Bruce Robert Professor of Law. Watson previously was a professor at Mercer University School of Law, and she has been a visiting scholar and professor at Seton Hall University School of Law. In 2012, Watson received ASLME’s Jay Healey Award in recognition of her dedication to her students, passion for teaching, and accomplishments in health law.

Through her work as a law professor and a legal services attorney, Watson has dedicated her law career to health law and has advocated for health care access for the poor. With the help of funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health, she currently is working as a policy and legal advisor for a statewide coalition of grassroots consumer health advocates to fight for better access to quality, affordable health insurance. Her work is also supported through SLU’s Grassroots Health Law, Policy and Advocacy course that allows students to do grassroots health policy work on behalf of consumers.

With more than 50 articles published in law reviews and scholarly journals, Watson has written extensively on racial and ethnic disparities in health care, health reform, Medicaid, and health care for those who are homeless. She is editor of the book, Representing the Poor and Homeless: Innovations in Advocacy. She also authored the book, An Advocate’s Guide to Missouri MC /Medicaid for People with Disabilities and three editions of the book, A Georgia Advocate’s Guide to Health Care. She also serves on the board of editors for the American Journal of Law & Medicine.

Watson is a frequent speaker to consumer, disabilities rights and children’s groups about the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and access to care. In 2005, she received the Equal Justice Award from Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, for outstanding public service on health care issues impacting the low-income community.  She was Co-Counsel for Amicus before the U.S. Supreme Court in N.F.I.B v Sibelius, co-drafting a brief in support of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.  She was also co-counsel for plaintiffs in Lankford, et al., v Sherman, a successful challenge to the State of Missouri policy eliminating Medicaid coverage for medical equipment and supplies for adult Medicaid beneficiaries.

Prior to teaching health law, Watson was a legal services lawyer in Louisiana and Alaska. She also served as the director of clinical education at Tulane University School of Law, where she founded the school’s Law Clinic and its Trial Advocacy program.

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