skip to content

It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

skip to content

Northwest Florida Law Office

Contact Us

Ralph H. Schofield, Jr., M.P.H. is Chief Legal Counsel for the Northwest Law Office, responsible for advising and representing the Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington county health departments and the Emerald Coast Consortium of Health Officers.  He is licensed to practice law in the State of Florida and is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Circuit-Civil and Family Mediator and Florida Supreme Court Qualified Arbitrator.  Typical matters for the Northwest Law Office include patient care and rights, environmental health enforcement, animal bites and quarantine, employee relations, information security (e.g. HIPAA), records requests, contract negotiation and disputes, ethics, risk management, and coordination with the courts in response to tuberculosis and sex crimes.  Prior to joining the Florida Department of Health, he practiced law with environmental nonprofits and in private business and real estate litigation.  Ralph holds a public health graduate degree with a concentration in toxicology and risk assessment from the University of South Florida and a law degree from the University of Michigan.  He publishes and teaches on public health and other emerging legal topics.  His community engagement has included serving on multiple United Way community investment teams, on the board of directors for SPCA Florida, as special counsel to the Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge, and as a judge for the HOSA – Future Health Professionals biomedical debate and for mock trial and moot court competitions.  

Pamela Johnson is a legal research assistant and a Florida Bar Registered Paralegal who works under the direction and supervision of Ralph H. Schofield, Jr. Some of her duties include preparing legal documents, assisting in legal case preparation, and conducting legal research. She is in constant communication with people in the judicial system and others within and outside the DOH regarding various legal matters. She also coordinates the Northwest Law Office activity.   

Northwest Florida Law Office advises and represents DOH-Escambia and Children’s Medical Services (CMS) offices in Bay, Escambia, Holmes, Santa Rosa, Walton and Washington counties. The law office also advises on the following areas: HIPAA, environmental health sanitary nuisances, quarantine of persons and/or animals, and medical record subpoenas. Law office staff litigates DOH cases in County and Circuit Courts, District Court of Appeals, and Florida Supreme Court.

Location & Contact Information  

Fairfield Service Center, 1295 West Fairfield Drive

Northwest Florida Law office is open Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM. Call 850-595-6500 for more information.

Updated January 8, 2018