Advancing the Vaccine Law Dialogue

Pre-conference: September 13 Washington, D.C.

Members of the National Vaccine Law Association Board of Directors are:

Professor Denise M. Hill, Chair

Drake Associate Professor Denise Hill, JD, MPA brings 25-years of health care legal, policy, public administration, and ADR experience to the classroom, practice of law, and community. She continues to practice health and employment law and mediate with the Whitfield & Eddy law firm in Des Moines, Iowa.

Denise is a sought-after speaker, author, media commentator, and thought leader on a variety of contemporary health law and ethics topics. Most recently she authored Vaccine Mandates in the Health Care Workplace: A Legal Primer for Employers published by the American Health Law Association. For many years Denise has advised health care organizations, written, and presented on public health and vaccination law issues at the state and national levels. For example, two decades ago Denise helped to negotiate the Public Health Disaster Emergency provisions in the Iowa Code that were utilized during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Denise was recently named the Vice-Chair for the first National Vaccine Law Conference to be held at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University in September 2022.

In 2017, Denise was selected as one of 15 nationally known health law experts to contribute to the 30th anniversary addition of the highly regarded Health Law Handbook series published by WestGroup in spring 2018. Her article “Patient-Centered Compliance in a World of Pain” provides insights and guidance on legal and compliance issues related to pain management and opioids; an area that she has studied and presented on for many years. Denise is also a co-author of the forthcoming text Maximize Student Retention and Persistence to Graduation: Proven Strategies for Higher Education as well as the Powerful Learning Communities: A Guide to Developing Student, Faculty, and Professional Learning Communities to Improve Student Success and Organizational Effectiveness that was published by Stylus.

Previously, Denise was the Director of Health Law Programs at Drake Law School; practiced law and mediation with the Davis Brown Law Firm, was an Associate Professor in the Colleges of Medicine, Podiatry, and Health Sciences at Des Moines University; and taught for the University of Iowa’s Executive MHA program. Over the years she has won a number of awards that recognize the quality of her teaching and passion for individual student success. In addition to her work in private practice and academia, Denise was an Attorney/Manager of Public & Regulatory Affairs with the Iowa Medical Society and a State of Iowa labor relations attorney.

Denise was a 1990 Harry S. Truman Congressional Scholar who graduated with honors from Drake University (law and MPA), Wartburg College (BA), and Waldorf College (AA).

Dr. Michelle Fiscus, Vice-Chair

Dr. Fiscus is the Chief Medical Officer of the Association of Immunization Managers, where she leads AIM’s CDC-funded project to improve COVID-19 vaccination rates in children under 5 years and helps inform AIM’s products, strategies, and policies. Dr. Fiscus is a board-certified pediatrician and former medical director of Tennessee’s Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Immunization Program.

Dr. Fiscus received her undergraduate and medical degrees from Indiana University and completed her residency in pediatrics at the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Dr. Fiscus is a member of American Academy of Pediatrics Board of Directors and has served on workgroups for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

Montrece Ransom, JD, MPH, Member

Montrece McNeill Ransom currently serves as the Director of the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Training for the National Network of Public Health Institutes.

Ms. Ransom was appointed as a Presidential Management Fellow and worked at CDC for almost 20 years. For the last 10 years of her service, Ms. Ransom led CDC’s public health law related training and workforce development efforts. She received her law degree from the University of Alabama, her MPH from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, and her Executive Leadership Coaching Certification from Georgetown University. In addition, she has received a certificate in training and facilitation from the Association of Talent Development. Ms. Ransom is the ABA Health Law Section’s 2019 Champion of Diversity and Inclusion Awardee, and the 2017 recipient of the American Public Health Association Jennifer Robbins Award for the Practice of Public Health Law. She is the President-Elect of the American Society for Law, Medicine, and Ethics and serves on the Advisory Committee for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential.

Devoted to helping people reach their human potential, Ms. Ransom also spends a lot of time working on career pathing and professional development with new public health practitioners and public health lawyers. She is also a well-known public speaker, peer-reviewed published author, the Co-Editor of the textbook, Public Health Law: Concepts and Case Studies.

Brian Dean Abramson, Esq., LL.M., Treasurer

Brian Dean Abramson is the primary author of the legal treatise, Vaccine, Vaccination, and Immunization Law, the most comprehensive treatise written with respect to this field of law, published by Bloomberg Law in cooperation with the American Health Law Association in November 2018, and regularly updated thereafter. A second print edition was published by AHLA in February 2022, and a third is forthcoming in 2025. Mr. Abramson teaches the subject as Adjunct Professor of Vaccine Law at the Florida International University College of Law and at the University of Houston Law Center.

Mr. Abramson previously worked for Bloomberg Law, for whom he authored the vaccine injury claims chapter of Matthew H. Solomson’s Court of Federal Claims: Jurisdiction, Practice, and Procedure, and for whom he wrote extensively in the fields of health and international privacy law. He was a law clerk for the Honorable Pauline Newman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, where he took an exceptional interest in the court’s vaccine injury docket. Prior to this, he interned with the Honorable Susan G. Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and practiced intellectual property law with the firm of Lott & Friedland in Coral Gables, Florida.

Mr. Abramson received an MA in Comparative Sociology from Florida International University, followed by his JD, summa cum laude, from the Florida International University College of Law, and an LLM in intellectual property law with highest honors from the George Washington University Law School.