Health Justice Certificate

doctor typing information on the computer in office

Education with a Focus on Meeting Industry Changes

The study of health justice introduces students to the concepts that build and surround medical-legal partnerships. In recent years, medical-legal partnership has expanded across the country to embrace a grass-roots healthcare reform movement. Medical-legal partnership expands the healthcare team to include lawyers to solve medical problems that have a legal cause. These medical problems often stem from the social determinants of health including: income inequalities, adequate housing concerns, education and employment medical hurdles, determining legal status for immigrants and veterans, and implementing protective measures such as guardianships for children and the elderly to name a few. Lawyers and medical professionals are uniquely positioned to advocate for patients and clients to improve healthcare outcomes and potentially cut healthcare costs. Students will be poised to make a lasting impact on healthcare policies and practices essential to our current time. This material is applicable to students across law, policy, healthcare, psychology, social work, and public health.

Coursework includes discussion of legal remedies for social determinants of health, improving cross-discipline communication, identification of policy change to improve population health and serve the poor and vulnerable. As students explore and discover the connections between poverty, law, disease, and healthcare infrastructure they can be better equipped to produce effective change to improve the health of their communities. This program will provide invaluable understanding for leaders in healthcare and law.


In the Health Justice Certificate Program, students will explore population health related challenges and the possibilities of Medical-Legal Interventions. The certificate program begins with an introduction to Population Health. This is followed by an exploration of health inequities and social epidemiology.  Next is a study of Health Justice where the social determinants of health and indicators for medical legal partnerships are examined. Collaborative approaches to improving the health of communities through policy advocacy will be explored.  The final Advocacy in Action Capstone seminar highlights how Health Justice grass root approaches can change the healthcare landscape.

The certificate blends theory and application with a goal of preparing students to serve as organizational resources for medical-legal interventions as part of population and community health efforts. Students will be encouraged to identify a specific area of interest as they begin coursework, and incorporate interests into assignments.  This strategic approach can result in a valuable portfolio of resources, data and advocacy statements, as well as visual and oral presentations that will be the cumulative work product.


  1. Recognize indicators for medical-legal interventions.
  2. Investigate social determinants of health, epidemiology, and health inequities.
  3. Synthesize information about health inequities, social determinants, and epidemiology to create intervention strategies.
  4. Demonstrate skills in searching and evaluating literature to facilitate evidence-based decision making.
  5. Create and evaluate approaches to medical legal interventions.
  6. Apply persuasive writing and oral communication techniques to advocate for legislative change.

The certificate may be completed prior to enrolling in the MHA program of after completion of the MHA.


Traci Rooks, JD, CHC

Traci Rooks is a graduate of the University of Idaho College of Law. Traci began her work with Medical-Legal Partnership with the Spokane Health Justice Initiative in 2014. As a legal volunteer, Traci examined work flows between medical and legal partners for potential improvement. She wrote policies and procedures for medical, legal, and law school partners. She also aggregated and evaluated patient-client data for reporting and compliance with grant guidelines. In addition, Traci has been a member of the Washington State Coalition of Medical-Legal Partnerships participating in state-wide efforts to establish new medical-legal partnerships and navigate challenges for established partnerships. The foundation for this very important work having been completed, Traci broadened the application of medical-legal partnership to higher education at University of Providence.

Traci is currently an Investigator for Providence Risk and Integrity Services.  Prior to her work as an Investigator, Traci was a Compliance Manager and Privacy Officer for Lincoln Hospital and a Compliance Specialist for Providence St. Joseph Health. Over the years, Traci has also been active in the Health Law Sections of both the Washington State Bar and the American Bar Association. Traci joined the adjunct faculty at University of Providence in 2018, teaching Healthcare Law & Ethics for the Master of Healthcare Administration Program.

Traci is committed to equipping tomorrow’s healthcare leaders and legal advocates to embrace the precepts of pairing health and justice.  The Health Justice program is supported by a cadre of talented faculty. MHA practitioner faculty are experienced in their specialty areas and share a goal of linking theory to practice for students.


The Health Justice Certificate Program is offered as both a freestanding option and an addition to the University of Providence Master of Healthcare Administration.  The MHA is aligned with 19 competencies  (  from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL).   The MHA has been granted eligibility for accreditation by the Commission on Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) and has submitted candidacy documents.  If approved, the program will advance to candidacy and self-study in preparation for accreditation site visit.   Instructional design of the Community Health Investment courses and syllabi is guided by Quality Matters (QM) principles to enhance the online learning experience.


  • Application: Complete the online application – Click Here
  • Official Transcripts: Applicants must submit official transcript(s) showing degree completion must be submitted to the university. Transcripts should be sent to the University of Providence via email from the institution, Parchment or the Student Clearinghouse or mailed to University of Providence, 1301 20th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.
  • Résumé: Submission of a résumé is required.
  • Application Fee: There is a $50 application fee for the certificate.
    For questions email:


  • Students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Seats are limited. Preference will be given to lawyers and professionals working within healthcare, community health, population health, and public health, as well as to applicants with resumes indicative of a direct relationship to aspects of Health Justice


  • Content delivery: 8-week online master’s level courses with short breaks between courses.
  • Courses are designed for working professionals.
  • Length of semesters: Two 8-week terms and a brief break within each semester.
  • Program length if all courses are taken in sequence: 3 semesters.


Semester I (6 credits)
MHA 504 Health Justice (Medical-Legal Partnership)                                                       First 8-week term
MHA 508 Health Inequities & Social Epidemiology                                                         Second 8-week term

Semester II (4 credits)
MHA 518 Evidence-based Management for Healthcare Leaders                                     First 8-week term
MHA 521 Population Health –A Community Orientation                                                Second 8-week term

Semester III (6 credits)
MHA 525 Transformational Leadership                                                                             First 8-week term
MHA 528 Health Justice Advocacy in Action                                                                     Second 8-week term


Phone: 406-791-5258