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OHIT/ILHIEA Legal Fellow Volunteer Internship Program 

 
Past and Current Legal Interns (pdf)

The Office of Health Information technology (OHIT) and the Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority (ILHIEA) are engaged in the implementation of the Illinois Health Information Exchange and other health information related issues. To facilitate OHIT-ILHIEA's work in identifying and addressing the legal and policy challenges to the implementation in Illinois of a state-level HIE, and other projects relating to health information technology, OHIT-ILHIEA welcomes the volunteer involvement of advanced level law students as OHIT-ILHIEA Legal Fellows to observe and participate in OHIT-ILHIEA legal and policy deliberations.

OHIT/ILHIEA Assignments

The tasks assigned to the Fellows will include:

  • Legal research projects regarding Federal and State law on matters primarily relating to privacy and security of personal health information, health information technologies, HIE, and health law;

  • Drafting legal research reports and informational whitepapers for publication on OHIT’s website or distribution to relevant policymakers and stakeholders (OHIT Advisory Committee and Working Groups, Illinois Legislature, Federal HHS Office of the National Coordinator); and

  • Facilitation of OHIT’s engagement with the HIE’s stakeholders in Illinois (providers, payers, patients, public health officials, researchers and regulators), including attendance at meetings and the furnishing of substantive staff support to OHIT’s advisory bodies (research, recommendations, meeting minutes).

Related Agency Assignments

OHIT-ILHIEA works closely with other agencies and instrumentalities of the State of Illinois, most notably the Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace (HIM)[click for HIM Fellowship details], in addition to the Office of the Governor (OOG), the Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS), the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), the Department of Human Services (DHS), and the Department of Public Health (DPH). OHIT-ILHIEA is open to the expansion of potential Fellow assignments to include legal assistance requested by other State agencies, subject to the availability and agreement of the Fellow.

Workflow Inclusion

OHIT/ILHIEA will attempt to provide the Interns a comprehensive insight into OHIT/ILHIEA’s operations and the legal and business challenges which OHIT/ILHIEA will address. Whenever possible, OHIT/ILHIEA’s respective General Counsels and executives will invite Fellows to attend meetings with relevant stakeholders.

Chicago Office

OHIT/ILHIEA’s offices are located in the State of Illinois James R. Thompson Center. Each Fellow will be provided at OHIT/ILHIEA’s offices with a personal work space and desktop personal computer with Internet access. In addition to on-line access to selected health policy and legal reference materials, OHIT/ILHIEA benefits from the legal reference resources of the adjacent Cook County Law Library. In the event that a Fellow agrees to attend any meetings held outside of Chicago, all related reasonable travel expenses will be directly incurred or reimbursed by OHIT/ILHIEA.

Springfield Office

OHIT/ILHEA is open to the possibility of engaging a Fellow who wishes to work from a State of Illinois office in Springfield.

Office Hours

OHIT/ILHEA maintains business office hours each weekday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Office attire is business casual; the OHIT/ILHEA office staff is small (under 25 persons) and the environment is collegial.

Flexible Work Scheduling

OHIT/ILHEA believes that the full benefits of the inclusion of the Fellow in OHIT/ILHEA’s daily workflow will accrue to those who are able to accept the internship on a full-time basis, particularly during the Summer school semester. During the Fall and Spring school semesters, however, OHIT/ILHEA is open to exploring flexible part-time arrangements for Fellows.

Compensation

Regrettably, OHIT/ILHEA is not presently in a position to offer any cash remuneration to the Fellows for their volunteer services. The Fellows shall not be employees of the State of Illinois, and will have no entitlement to any of the benefits offered to State of Illinois employees.

Professional Development

OHIT/ILHEA encourages Fellows to seek academic credit for their internship experience.  OHIT/ILHEA is committed to providing its Fellows all reasonable assistance to further their professional development as lawyers.  All legal assignments will be personally supervised and reviewed by the OHIT or ILHIEA General Counsel, who will assist, as requested by a Fellow, with respect to (i) attempts to secure academic credit for work completed, (ii) letters of reference, and (iii) publication of research results in academic journals.

Confidentiality/Conflicts of Interest

As each Fellow will be exposed to confidential information, each Fellow must execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement. Also, each Fellow must disclose any involvement during the term of their internship (i) in the representation of any person asserting any claim against the State of Illinois, or (ii) a relationship with a third party, including a potential vendor to OHIT/ILHEA, with an interest potentially adverse to that of the State of Illinois.

Fellow Selection Criteria

OHIT/ILHEA adheres to the principles of Equal Opportunity Employment. Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants prior to the start of the 12 - 14 week Spring, Summer or Fall programs (generally corresponding to academic semesters); additional selections may be made from time to time as the need arises. The factors taken into consideration in selecting Fellows will include:
  • Absence of conflicts of interest;
  • Receipt of academic credit, or other proof of educational benefit from participation; prior course of legal studies;
  • Prior legal research and writing experience;
  • Prior experience with matters of health law and health information technology;
  • Interest in health law policy, regulatory affairs, and information technology; and
  • Ability to convert legal research and reasoning into concrete legal guidance, and to communicate such guidance clearly in oral and written form.

Desired Characteristics

  • Strong communication skills, verbal and written;
  • Positive personality and the ability to work both independently and with team members;
  • Strong multi-tasking and organization skills;
  • Takes initiative to understand the concepts of health information exchange;
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications; and
  • Graduate level of Study of Law, IT, Economics, or Healthcare.



Applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and a writing sample to peggy.johnson@illinois.gov
 for consideration. In the subject line please indicate the term you want to apply for (e.g. Fall 2013).