I am an associate professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Texas A&M University School of Public Health. I also serve as the Director of the HRSA-funded Southwest Rural Health Research Center at the School of Public Health. I am generally interested in the impact of laws on public health outcomes. I have been actively developing a research agenda that incorporates my interest in policy and public health issues. I have examined such issues as the impact of tax-exemption status on the provision of community benefits among various hospital ownership types, the relationship between neighborhood built environments and physical activity, the effect of strict immigration laws on health services utilization among immigrant populations, and the effects of texting-while-driving bans on roadway safety. I have additionally examined issues of mental health, access to care, and diabetes in rural areas. I have been called upon to provide expert testimony to state and federal legislative bodies on the effectiveness of laws aimed at improving public health. I hold a law degree from the Michigan State University College of Law and a doctor of public health degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.