Michigan Medicine Executive Leadership

Kara Morgenstern, J.D., M.P.H.
Associate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, University of Michigan

Kara Morgenstern

As associate vice president and deputy general counsel, Kara Morgenstern oversees the legal team handling issues for Michigan Medicine. The Office of the General Counsel advises on the many complex legal issues arising in a health system that cares for hundreds of thousands of patients each year, performs advanced medical research, and educates the next generation of physicians, nurses, advanced practice practitioners, pharmacists, and medical scientists. In her role as deputy general counsel, Kara provides support and guidance to a staff of eight attorneys, two paralegals, three executive assistants, and numerous law clerks.

Kara joined the University of Michigan Office of General Counsel in September of 2002. Since then she has advised clients on a variety of healthcare matters including transactions, fraud and abuse, graduate medical education, patient rights, medical staff credentialing and peer review, and billing/reimbursement. Most recently, prior to accepting the role of associate vice president and deputy general counsel, Kara's practice was largely dedicated to supporting UM's research activities where she works closely with UM's Office of Vice President for Research, UMMS's Office of Research, Regulatory Affairs, the Institutional Review Boards and Michigan Medicine Compliance Office. Kara particularly enjoys assisting investigators and their study teams in preparing for and responding to external inspections.

Kara graduated from the University of Maryland College of the Law, cum laude in 1994, where she served as Vice President of the Student Health Law Association and Assistant Editor of the Maryland Law Review. After law school she became an associate with the national health law practice of Jenkens & Gilchrist (Houston, Texas). As a healthcare associate, Kara advised hospital, physician and academic medical center clients on healthcare regulatory matters including reimbursement, fraud and abuse, anti-trust, hospital/physician ventures and general compliance concerns. After four years with the firm, Kara was recruited by a client of the firm, CHRISTUS Health, a multi-state, non-profit healthcare system, to move in-house and serve in its corporate offices advising hospital CEOs, CFOs and COOs on a variety of healthcare regulatory matters.

Prior to law school, Kara conducted basic science research at the National Institute of Mental Health, where she co-authored a scientific manuscript, was a co-inventor on a patent for using Cloned DNA for synthesizing unique glucocerebrosidase, and met her future husband, a University of Michigan medical student participating in the Howard Hughes Research Scholar program at the National Institutes of Health. Kara returned to school at the University of Michigan to obtain her Masters of Public Health degree and upon graduation served as Program Evaluation Specialist for the San Diego County Health Department, where she solidified her plan to go to law school and focus on healthcare law.