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Lawyer, author, speaker & designer


Barbara J. Zabawa, JD, MPH

Clinical Assistant Professor, Master of Healthcare Administration Program Co-director – UW- Milwaukee College of Health Sciences


JD University of Wisconsin Law School
MPH Health Management and Policy Concentration University of Michigan School of Public Health
BA English Lawrence University

Interests & Expertise

I have over 20 years of experience working in various capacities within the health industry. I have experience as a consultant, consumer advocate, health lawyer, and in-house counsel to a large health insurer.

My interests and expertise lie within the areas of health and wellness law and compliance. I have written and presented extensively on such topics as health information privacy, health reform efforts, scope of practice and licensing issues, ethical standards for health and wellness professionals, and health delivery methods that aim to improve quality and reduce costs, such as Accountable Care Organizations and retail/occupational health clinics.

Peer-reviewed Publications

  • Zabawa, B., & Eickhoff-Shemek, J. (2017, April (2nd Quarter/Spring)). Rule the Rules of Workplace Wellness Programs. ABA Book Publishing.
  • Trubek, L. G., Zabawa, B. J., & Galowitz, P. (2015). Transformations in Health Law Practice: The Intersections of Changes in Health Care and Legal Workplaces. Indiana Health Law Review, 12(1), 183.
  • Zabawa, B. J., Trubek, L. G., & Borisy-Rudin, F. F. (2012). Adopting Accountable Care Through the Medicare Framework. Seton Hall Law Review, 42(4).
  • Zabawa, B. J. (2003). Making the Health Insurance Flexibility and Accountability (HIFA) Waiver Work through Collaborative Governance.
  • Zabawa, B. J. (2002). The “Access” Problem: How Employee and Employer Issues may Increase BadgerCare Participation by Impeding the Verification Process,. Wisconsin Women’s Law Journal.
  • Zabawa, B. J. (2001). Breaking through the ERISA Blockade: The Ability of States to Access Employer Health Plan Information in Medicaid Expansion Initiatives. Quinnipiac Health Law Journal.

Honors & Awards

  • Voted one of Wisconsin’s “Up and Coming Lawyers,” 2011.
  • Voted a Rising Star in Litigation by Super Lawyers Magazine, 2009-2012.
  • Selected as a Health Law Scholar for inaugural Health Law Scholars Workshop in St. Louis, MO – 2002.
  • 2002 National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Funded Consumer Representative.
  • Skadden Fellow, 2001-2003.
  • 2001 Student Paper of the Year – awarded by the UW Network for Health Policy Research.
  • Julie Strasser Scholarship for scholarship, character, and contribution to the UW Law School and greater community – 2001.
  • Elaine Osborne Jacobson Award for Women Working in Healthcare Law, sponsored by the Roscoe Pound Institute of the American Trial Lawyers Association – 2001.
  • Wisconsin Women Law Student’s Association Scholarship – 1997.
  • University of Michigan School of Public Health Scholarship – 1994 to 1996.
  • Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to study workplace health issues in Europe – 1993 to 1994.

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of American College of Healthcare Executives
  • American Bar Association
  • American Health Lawyer’s Association
  • Chair, Wisconsin State Bar Health Law Section Board
  • Admitted to practice in Wisconsin, New York, U.S. Federal Western and Eastern Districts of Wisconsin, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court
  • New York State Bar, March 2015 to present
  • Board Member, Health Promotion Advocates
  • Board Member, Rogers Memorial Hospital Foundation
  • Vice-Chair of Membership, Behavioral Health Task Force of the American Health Lawyers’ Association, 2013 to 2016.
  • Board Member, Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health, November 2011 to present.
  • Oversight and Advisory Council Board, April 2013 to present.
  • Board Member, Creative Community Living Services Board of Directors, October 2014 to 2016.
  • Wisconsin Health Information Organization Public Reporting Committee member, 2012 to 2015.
  • Member of UW Institutional Review Board, 2012 to 2014.
  • Health and Life Advisory Council for the State of Wisconsin and Health Exchange Working Groups/ Office of the Commissioner of Insurance, 2012 to 2014.
  • Wisconsin Legislative Council Special Committee on Health Care Reform Implementation, July 2010.
  • Board of Directors, Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, January 2008 to 2011.