Martha (Meg) Gaines
Emeritus Director, Center for Patient Partnership (CPP); Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law
J.D. 1983, University of Wisconsin Law School
LL.M. 1993, University of Wisconsin Law School
Martha E. (Meg) Gaines is a 1983 cum laude graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received the Wisconsin Law Alumni Award for outstanding contribution to the community. After law school, Meg clerked for the late Judge Thomas Tang of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Phoenix, Arizona (1983), worked as a trial attorney for the Milwaukee office of the State Public Defender (1985-1987), and returned to the Law School's Remington Center where she taught until becoming Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Affairs (1998-2000). Meg was the 1995 recipient of the campus-wide Chancellor's Hilldale Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Meg received her B.A. in Religion in 1977 from Vassar College and her LL.M in 1993 from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Her master's thesis is titled "I do make house calls--Effective Legal Representation From Our Clients' Perspective." Meg is on the faculty of the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia and the New York State Defender's Association in Albany, New York.
In September 2000, Meg and several colleagues founded The Center for Patient Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin. Begun with generous pilot grants from alumna Linda B. Stern, '61 and The Wallis Foundation, the Center trains students from the schools of Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Social Work to provide advocacy to cancer patients. In collaboration with colleagues from those departments, Meg teaches a Patient Advocacy course where students are joined in interdisciplinary teams that help cancer patients understand their diagnoses, get the information necessary to make critical treatment decisions, and support patient's efforts to get the treatment they need.
The Center also conducts research about issues relevant to patient care and health care delivery - from the patient's perspective. The Center is a national model of excellence in the education of health care and legal professionals.
Scholarship & Publications
Martha (Meg) Gaines was honored by the National Patient Advocate Foundation for her accomplishments in, and lasting impact on, the health advocacy field in November 2021. Watch a video they created about Gaines.
Meg Gaines wrote “Changing the Game of Prior Authorization: The Patient Perspective” (with Donald Berwick and UW Law student Austin Auleta), for the February 2020 edition of JAMA.
Meg Gaines was provisionally appointed to the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee entitled “Ensuring Patient Access to Affordable Drug Therapies.” The committee will examine patient access to affordable and effective therapies, with emphasis on drug pricing, inflation in the cost of drugs, and insurance design.
Sarah Davis co-authored “Implementation Science Workshop: Engaging Patients in Team-Based Practice Redesign—Critical Reflections on Program Design” (with Meg Gaines and others), which was published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine in March.
Sarah Davis and Meg Gaines co-authored (with 5 others) "Engaging Patients at the Front Lines of Primary Care Redesign: Operational Lessons for an Effective Program," about their work leading a patient engagement effort at UW Health. The article appears in the December issue of the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety. Several of the toolkits they created have also been made available to health systems through hipxchange.org/PatientEngagement.
Martha "Meg" Gaines of the Center for Patient Partnerships was given the Cancer Control Champion Award at the Wisconsin Cancer Council's annual awards program. The award recognizes individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to cancer control efforts in Wisconsin, consistent with the mission of the Wisconsin Cancer Council and the Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan.
News & Media
Thursday, Apr 23, 2020Meg Gaines discusses the pandemic's impact on non-COVID health procedures
Thursday, Feb 6, 2020Meg Gaines discusses a loophole health insurers use to push pricy medical bills onto patients
Tuesday, May 28, 2019What qualities make a good patient advocate? The Center for Patient Partnerships' Meg Gaines weighs in
Wisconsin State Journal
Friday, May 10, 2019Meg Gaines explains how the Center for Patient Partnership uses patient experiences to teach med students
American Medical Association
Thursday, Jul 19, 2018Meg Gaines discusses her path from cancer survivor to national expert on patient-centered care
Thursday, Apr 26, 2018Meg Gaines: Federal funds will increase opportunities for students from rural areas to pursue medical degrees
The Daily Cardinal
Friday, Oct 20, 2017Meg Gaines receives award for advancing patient-centered health care
National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship News
Monday, Jun 6, 2016Meg Gaines discusses new tools to help cancer patients access clinical trials
Wednesday, Oct 28, 2015Meg Gaines named to 'M List' of innovators who create social change
Thursday, Nov 13, 2014Meg Gaines discusses health care costs outside patients' control
CBS This Morning
Wednesday, May 21, 2014Meg Gaines discusses Iowa Bar's recommendation on 'diploma privilege'
Iowa Public Radio
Monday, Jan 6, 2014Meg Gaines discusses paying for cancer care
Tuesday, Nov 26, 2013Meg Gaines discusses the Affordable Care Act and healthcare.gov
Tuesday, May 21, 2013Meg Gaines: Legislature moving too fast on proposed change regarding medical decisions
Public News Service
Monday, Apr 29, 2013Meg Gaines questions proposed changes to patients' right-to-know statute
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
- Health Law: Patient Advocacy