Michelle has spent nearly 25 years helping clients manage their legal risk so that they can focus on their mission and key business objectives.
A former executive in the nonprofit sector, Michelle chairs Wiggin and Dana's HIPAA Practice Group and co-chairs the Cybersecurity and Privacy Practice Group. She also chairs the Clinical Research Regulation and Compliance Practice Group and is a member of the firm's Health Care and Biotechnology and Life Sciences Practice Groups.
Highly regarded for analytical and people skills that supplement her depth of experience, Michelle advises national and international organizations—both well-established enterprises and startups—on a wide range of privacy/security, health care, health information technology, and clinical research issues. These issues include state and federal privacy and security requirements; data breach and incident response; and health information exchange (including data management) in the context of integrations and affiliations. Michelle advises on the European Union's (EU's) General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), as well as on HIPAA and other U.S. and state privacy laws. Michelle holds the certifications of CIPP/U.S. (Certified Information Privacy Professional / U.S.) and CIPP/E (Certified Information Privacy Professional / Europe), both granted by the International Association of Privacy Professionals. She is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Ireland/EU and is qualified to serve as a GDPR Data Protection Officer (DPO).
Michelle's health care practice focuses on Medicare and Medicaid compliance and audits, HIPAA and related privacy requirements, patient-care matters; clinical research regulation and clinical research contracting; and general operational matters in the health care regulatory area. Michelle regularly applies her experience in data privacy, management, and security outside of health care, to businesses in a range of industries with the same concerns.
Before practicing law, Michelle was a program director with the American Cancer Society, where she worked with physicians, nurses, and other health professionals to implement rehabilitation and educational programs for cancer patients, health professionals, and the general public. She also supervised the communications program of a community-based health and social service agency.
Michelle lectures frequently on both the state and national level. She is a co-author of the "HIPAA Handbook: Implementing the Federal Privacy Rule in a Long-Term Care Setting," published by The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and is the author of "HIV-infected Physicians: The Duty to Disclose under the Informed Consent Doctrine," published in the University of Connecticut Law Review.
Michelle is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), the Applied Research Ethics National Association, and the American Health Lawyers Association. She also is former chair of the Advisory Committee on Patient Privacy and Security to the State of Connecticut's Health Information and Technology Exchange.
Michelle received her J. D. with high honors from the University of Connecticut School of Law, where she was the editor-in-chief at the University of Connecticut Law Review. She received a B. A. from Williams College and studied at the University of Kent in Canterbury, England.