College of Law > Academics > Centers, Institutes & Initiatives > Mary and Michael Jaharis Health Law Institute > Year in Review > Alumni Highlights
The list of accomplishments from our large alumni network is extensive. Our alumni serve in leadership positions in the most prestigious law firms, insurance brokerage firms, and pharmaceutical companies, making their contributions of mentoring and supporting our students invaluable. The genuine connection our alumni make with DePaul students provides opportunities to succeed in a challenging and ever-changing industry.
As a national leader in health care law, Michael Callahan focuses his practice around the end goal of improving patient care. As Senior Partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, he provides expert counsel on various aspects of hospital physician relations, including matters related to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Medicare Conditions of Participation (CoPs), and more. In the last decade, he has been deeply involved with developing and representing patient safety organizations (PSOs) around the country. He has contributed influential work on key health care legislation, including the Patient Safety Act and the Illinois Medical Studies Act.
Michael identifies a foundation for his interest in social policy and health care issues in his undergraduate years, during which he took on leadership roles in student government, becoming involved in the health center as well as the judicial system. At DePaul College of Law, he was appointed as the President of the Student Bar Association at the end of his first year. He also served as an editor for the DePaul Law Review and as a student representative on the faculty committee.
He celebrates the 40th anniversary of his graduation from DePaul College of Law this year. As a brand-new graduate, he clerked for Justice Daniel P. Ward of the Illinois Supreme Court. He recalls sharing experiences with fellow DePaul alumni during this time as they helped each other navigate the first years of their legal careers. After his clerkship, Michael chose to join Hinshaw & Culbertson for the firm’s distinctive health care practice. He was involved in litigation work but focused his practice on providing corporate regulatory legal services, advising on an array of issues including physician peer review and disciplinary matters, certificate of need requirements, and corporate reorganizations. “I had a hope that I could do my bit to help hospitals improve patient care.”
Michael has since received numerous honors for his impact on the health care and legal fields. Among others, he has been recognized on Best Lawyers for Health Care Law in America since 1991, as an Illinois Super Lawyer since 2005, and has been top-ranked by Chambers USA since 2005. In 2019, he was named a Fellow of the American Health Lawyers Association.
As a pre-med undergraduate, Yesenia Perez was always interested in health care. But she found her “calling” when she looked into health law. “It was exactly what I wanted to do.” She chose to pursue this path at DePaul College of Law, where she was actively involved in JHLI through the Health Law Journal, Moot Court, and the Summer Scholars Program.
At DePaul, Yesenia honed her ability to advocate for others and for herself. In her 2L year, she petitioned to enroll in the newly introduced JD-LLM in Health Law, a program originally designed for incoming students. Ultimately, she successfully obtained both degrees in three years. She also collaborated closely with professors on decisions regarding classes, programming, and speakers.
After graduation, Yesenia joined a litigation firm and then a small brokerage firm before finding her home at USI Insurance Services. In her current role as Regional Employee Benefits Counsel, she handles a range of complex employee benefit matters. Yesenia provides her clients and internal team with guidance on state and federal compliance regulations and also serves on USI’s National Compliance Team, continually advancing her expertise in health care policy and reform.
Wasif Khan chose DePaul for its health law program and reputable faculty. Now, he especially values his courses in Contracts, Tort Law, and Constitutional Law. He also recalls a particularly influential professor, a practicing attorney and physician who conveyed to his students the everyday practicalities of medical professionals—knowledge which Wasif considers as instrumental to his own practice as a health care attorney. He opened his own practice to serve health care providers before transitioning to his current role at HeplerBroom. As Attorney of Counsel, he directs HeplerBroom’s healthcare group on corporate regulatory compliance services. He provides counsel to a wide variety of medical and dental professionals, practices, and entities, advising on legislation such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Anti-Kickback Statute, and more.
Ultimately, his choice to focus on transactional law reflects his desire to mitigate and minimize conflict for his clients.