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Student Wins First Place Award from the American College of Legal Medicine

February 12, 2020

Christopher Griffin ’20 was recently recognized by the American College of Legal Medicine (ACLM) for his paper, Urban Indian Health Care: At Odds with the Trust Doctrine, Federal Policy, and Self-Determination? Griffin received the First Place Orr Award for the national 2020 Student Writing Competition by ACLM.

The competition is open to all post-doctoral attorneys or health professionals enrolled in postgraduate studies. The paper must be an outstanding postdoctoral paper focused on legal medicine. As the winner of this distinguished award, Griffin will receive a scholarship and serve on the 2021 Awards Committee. Griffin will also be given the opportunity to present his paper at the ACLM 2020 Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Griffin’s paper addresses urban Indian health care, discussed in the context of the history of the federal-Indian relationship, the federal trust doctrine, and Indian self-determination. He wrote the paper to fulfill requirements for the Federal Indian Law course, which he took because of his interest in history, his own long-standing federal employment, and because there are parallels between the Veterans Administration and the Indian Health Service. “I felt that a paper on a health care topic would be a perfect opportunity to combine my background in health care, my federal employment experience, and what I learned in this course,” Griffin stated.

Before coming to Lewis and Clark, Chris practiced medicine as a board-certified radiologist in a number of settings, including the U.S. Air Force, several foreign countries, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has an M.BA, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and has held a number of leadership positions and academic appointments in healthcare. He received his M.D. at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, Oregon, and received his undergraduate degree at Whitman College. He completed a Certificate in Healthcare Compliance at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in May 2017.

Griffin is interested in health law and health policy. At Lewis & Clark Law, he is a founding member of the Health Law Society and the Military and Veterans Law Society and has twice served on the Student Health Advisory Board. He recently spent the spring semester working in an Oregon Senator’s office in Salem and has also spent a semester working in a U.S. Senator’s office on Capitol Hill.

After law school, Chris hopes to return to health care leadership or policy, either in the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Health and Human Services, or the U.S. Congress.

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