Denise Winiarski

Associate General Counsel


Telephone: (734) 764-2178
Fax: (734) 647-2781
(Download vCard)

Secretary:  Vacant
Telephone: (734) 764-2178

300 North Ingalls Building, Room 3B04
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5476

Primary Practice Areas

  • Litigation
  • Release of Information
  • Subpoenas, Search Warrants
  • Regulatory and Accreditation Compliance
  • Risk Management, Patient Safety
  • Patient Rights (Informed Consent, Mental Health, Grievances, Guardianship)

Denise has over fifteen years of experience as a health care lawyer, handling areas such as litigation, patient rights, health information management, EMTALA, medical staff issues and risk management. Denise joined the University of Michigan Office of the Vice President and General Counsel in 2012 after thirteen years as the Director of Risk Management and Litigation Counsel for Henry Ford Health System. Early in her legal career, Denise worked in private practice for a large law firm handling insurance defense litigation. Prior to practicing law, Denise worked for the Michigan Public Service Commission and the University of Michigan Health System in Health Information Management.

Denise’s current practice includes support to the medical providers requested to give depositions or testify in litigation, as well as counseling clients on release of information, patient rights issues, interactions with law enforcement, risk management or patient safety concerns and regulatory or accreditation compliance.

Denise spends most of her spare time with her husband and two young daughters. She is also an avid sports fan and likes to spend time at her cottage in northern Michigan.

University Committees/Special Projects

  • Child Abuse Review Committee
  • Adolescent Health Initiative
  • Patient Confidentiality Workgroup


  • JD, Thomas M. Cooley Law School (1996), Certificates of Merit in Medical Malpractice and Professional Responsibility
  • BA, Political Science, University of Michigan (1992)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Risk Management (CPHRM) (2003)

Professional Memberships and Outside Activities

  • Member, Michigan Society of Healthcare Risk Management (MSHRM)
  • Member, American Society of Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM)
  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association
  • Member, Michigan State Bar, Health Care LawSection
  • Inaugural Chair of the Advisory Council for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association’s Patient Safety Organization (PSO)
  • Tri-annual presenter to the School of Nursing at Oakland University on legal issues in nursing for undergraduate and graduate students