Policy Director



Carolyn Pointer, JD

Policy Director

Department of Population Science and Policy






Primary Responsibilities

My research identifies the policy problems resulting in poor community health outcomes.  In the Department of Population Science and Policy, my role is to reduce health inequities for the people of central and southern Illinois through policy change. I also work with our medical-legal partnership in the Family & Community Medicine Department, and coordinate the fourth year Medical Humanities Clerkship.



Also, an Assistant Professor, Medical Humanities and an Assistant Professor of Law, SIU School of Law.

After 6 years as a high school history teacher, I returned to the classroom to earn my law degree. While in law school, I interned at the U.S. Department of Education and with the original medical-legal partnership at Boston University Medical Center, then called the Family Advocacy Program.  After graduation, I worked with medical-legal partnerships in the pediatrics departments of the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the University of Virginia Medical School.  At Health Law Advocates, I focused on advocating for children with mental health problems.  In 2014, I came to SIU School of Medicine, where I worked with the Department of Family & Community Medicine to apply for HRSA funding to start a medical-legal partnership program in conjunction with Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.  I am interested in upstreaming health disparities solutions, using policy change to improve social determinants of health, and working with communities to create health in all policies.