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Network 10 Year Anniversary

The Network was launched in September of 2010 to support the use of law to protect, promote and improve health. Since then, we’ve provided guidance and assistance to thousands in the public health community on numerous fronts including increasing health care access through the ACA, combating the opioid epidemic, expanding public health data sharing, addressing food insecurity, and enacting response measures to mitigate harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, in a year that will be marked by efforts to rebuild and recover, we are reminded of past events and challenges in which the public health community persisted and remained strong.

Throughout 2021, we will be sharing highlights from the past decade and we invite you to share a memory or tell us what you value most about the Network. 

Statements from Our Partners and Colleagues

Dan Stier, former National Director of the Network for Public Health Law, reflects on the early days of the Network and how, given the historical impacts of the pandemic, the Network’s job is “far from done.” Mr. Stier was National Director from 2010 to 2013. Before joining the Network, Mr. Stier was Senior Attorney and Public Health Analyst with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Law Program, where he served as liaison to attorneys within state health departments.

Scott Burris, director of the Center for Public Health Law Research, talks about the role the Network has played in empowering and supporting the public health community over the years and particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic: “It is the brain trust, the reserves, the cavalry — and there’s no better instance of how well it served us when we think of what’s happened with COVID.”

Angie McGowan, Senior Director of APHA’s Alliance for Disease Prevention and Response, reflects on the creation of the Network and how it has evolved over the past ten years: “It’s been great to see how the Network has be able to adapt over the last decade to meet the current public health challenges we’re facing as a nation. I can’t wait to see where you go in the next decade.”

“I want to congratulate all my Network Colleagues, current or alums, for their 10 years of vital support to Public Health Agencies, other agencies, and the public.”

Nancy Kaufman, Principal/CEO, Strategic Vision Group

“Congratulations to the Network for ten years of service! I have had the pleasure to collaborate with the Network and staff on a few occasions:

The California Department of Public Health partnered with the Network to co-sponsor the first Public Health Law Summit in California in March 2017.  Approximately 200 participants participated in valuable and pertinent discussions about various public health law issues for one full day.

I enjoyed collaborating with Arizonia [the Network’s Western Region Office] and CDC colleagues on a panel discussion at the October 2018 National Public Health Law Conference to discuss the use and impact of emergency declarations.

The California Department of Public Health, Office of Legal Services hosted James Hodge, [director of the Network’s Western Region Office], for his presentation of Public Health in a Nutshell in 2018.  The event was well attended by Department attorneys and was live-streamed.

Thank you Network staff for your partnership!”

Deborah Roepke, Executive Director, Coyote Crisis Collaborative

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing James Hodge [director of the Network’s Western Region Office] since 2015. His noon conferences on the Zika Virus and Ebola were outstanding examples of bringing together global health, infectious disease, health equity, politics and policy. He and the Network were always generous in their sharing of PowerPoint presentations to advance learning in the Spanish-speaking Americas. I cannot thank James and the Network enough for their time talent and generosity of spirit.”

Carol Baldwin, Professor Emeritus/Southwest Borderlands Scholar, ASU Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation

“I can’t say enough about the Network—support of law students and law faculty, the amazing conference, timely resources and technical assistance!  Bravo and congrats on the milestone!”

Sarah Davis, Clinical Professor, UW-Madison Law School

“The Network for Public Health Law is a mighty champion in emergency preparedness support efforts in Arizona, helping provide hands-on support and leadership for improving health across the spectrum of disaster preparedness, community resiliency, and assisting in empowering a diverse and broad range of State, County, Tribal, and local organizations to navigate legal complexities that often stifle plans, programs, and solution-building momentum.

The Network, through rapid, responsive, and robust interconnections with data, resources, and highly organized and effective research, has been a monumental catalyst to community-accelerated innovations in preparing Arizona to be adaptive and nimble in navigating the modern challenges and in proactively exploring opportunities when it mattered most.

The Network has always been and continues to be in every interaction, correspondence, and service of the most genuine support and reassuring commitment to the highest caliber of customer care and commitment—a truly essential partner by which our community organizations and programs shine all the brighter and more resolute in our shared commitment to service for the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Arizonans.

Congratulation on 10 years of outstanding support and thank you for always being there for public health emergency preparedness!”

Antonio Hernandez, Public Health Emergency – Section Chief, Arizona Department of Health Services

“I am happy I could obtain a LEGAL perspective on public health to be shared with tribal communities.  I always felt public health in community and households was the place to educate and inform.  Thanks and continue your good work.”

Anthony Yepa, Tribe Advisor

“Just so thankful to have been there at the beginning while I was just starting my career. What an exceptional opportunity to work with LEADERS in public health and learn from the best. I have loved watching this Network grow into something truly great!”

Jalayne Arias, Assistant Professor, UCSF

“This Network is the life blood of public health law. I consider this Network as my many law partners.  The camaraderie that has been created by this Network is invaluable.  Our practice is quite unique and having others with which to share ideas or ask questions is inestimable.  I also greatly appreciate the educational series and webinars that are provided by the Network.  You all are the best and having practiced in the public health law arena for more than 30 years, I am forever grateful for all you do.”

Kim Tendrich, Senior Attorney, Florida Department of Health

“The Network was probably one of my earliest formal exposures to public health law that helped shape the future of my career. I was in law school while simultaneously an immunization program manager at a state health department and I recall James [Hodge, director of the Network’s Western Region Office]    and his team presenting at a steering committee meeting and I thought to myself – “This”- “this is what I am wanting to do.”  I was able to learn more about the field and crystallize my vision for next steps in my career. Fast forward post-law school, I was able to work the CDC’s public health law program – during which I also reached out to and collaborated with the Network. Now in my current role at Merck I am able to bring the same analytical eye in the study of law to my company to help understand policy trends and advance evidence based policies.”

Alexandra Bhatti, Associate Director – Vaccine Policy Development, Merck

The introduction of Coyote Crisis Collaborative (Arizona’s Network for Disaster Preparedness) to the Network for Public Health Law occurred during an Arizona Department of Health Services’ conference near the time of the Network for Public Health Law’s inception. The Network’s conference presentation generated crucial legal interpretations that impacted community disaster planning across the state. Such an impressive legal resource had not been available in the state previously, and awareness of the Network’s new capacities inspired and compelled the Collaborative’s stakeholders to avail its services.

Following the Columbine and Gabby Gifford shootings, the research conducted by the Network yielded findings that served as a foundation for task force exploration of opportunities to prevent violence through early mental health need identification and intervention. The Network’s crucial involvement in work groups planning the Arizona Crisis Standards of Care resulted in the launch of an exemplary document that was replicated by states across the nation. Questions subsequently emerged from partners about a) volunteer response immunity protections; b) liability issues for healthcare coalitions considering becoming operational response entities; c) federal disaster regulation compliance impacting the continuum of healthcare, including access and functional needs population day care and residential treatment facilities; c) legal concerns pertaining to inter-state transport of children during catastrophic incidents, such as an earthquake in California; d) emergency call center capacities to legally obtain patient data from hospitals following a disaster for family reunification; e) legal matters pertaining to joint force civilian/military response to mass casualty incidents in isolated border regions, treacherous terrains, or other parts of the state; and f) more. Each legal quandary has been and continues to be answered thoroughly, professionally, concisely, and rapidly.

Over the course of the relationship between the Network and the Collaborative, the Collaborative has sought answers to difficult and often complex questions facing hospitals, allied health, health care coalitions, first responders, schools, and a diverse array of other stakeholders in Arizona and across the western states. I do not recall a single time the Network refused to rise to the challenge. Knowing that disaster planning and initiative progress have often rested precariously upon a precipice requiring legal guidance, the Network’s commitment, stamina, and knowledgeable cadre of subject matter expertise has enabled the Collaborative’s partners to determine directions, overcome hurdles, and forge solutions. As the Network celebrates its 10th year, we celebrate as well; we could not have achieved our accomplishments without your accomplishments. Thank you!

Deborah Roepke, Executive Director, Coyote Crisis Collaborative

Share an insight or memory you have of the Network

Please use the form below to share your story or convey your congratulations. We will be sharing some of these comments throughout the year to celebrate what we’ve achieved with our friends and colleagues in public health.