Jennifer Bernstein, J.D., M.P.H., is a deputy director with the Network’s Mid-States Region Office. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Women’s Studies and a Certificate in LGBT Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received her Juris Doctor and Master of Public Health degrees from the University of Iowa in 2009. During graduate school, Jennifer was a research assistant at the National Health Law and Policy Resource Center. She conducted a multi-state survey of laws related to nursing homes civil monetary penalties for noncompliance and researched the effectiveness of the Medicare and Medicaid nursing home survey process. She also interned at the District of Columbia Primary Care Association, drafting a model state plan amendment for D.C. aimed at expanding language access services for Medicaid patients. Upon graduation, Jennifer was admitted to the Texas State Bar. She accepted the Hogg Foundation Mental Health Policy Fellowship working for Lutheran Social Services of the South in Austin, Texas. She worked during the 82nd Texas Legislative Session advocating for the expansion of trauma informed care throughout the state. She also volunteered as a pro bono attorney for Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas, representing low income victims of domestic violence.

Articles & Resources

Data Sharing to Improve Community Health: Highlights from the 2019 Public Health Law Summit

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data Sharing

October 8, 2019
by Jennifer Bernstein and Sallie Milam

The Network recently held a two-day Summit focused on strategies to collect, use, share and protect multi-sector data to improve the health of communities. In this Q & A, Sallie Milam, J.D. and Jennifer Bernstein, J.D. deputy directors at the Network’s Mid-States Region Office, which organized the Summit, discuss why the Summit was so important to those working with health data and public health.

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Michigan Becomes First State to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

September 10, 2019
by Jennifer Bernstein

In response to a recent outbreak of e-cigarette associated respiratory illnesses, Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer has declared a public health emergency and the Governor has issued emergency rules banning the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. The ban is effective immediately, although businesses have 30 days to comply. The ban will last for six months and can be renewed for another six months.

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Data Sharing Strategies to Advance Health Equity

WebinarsHealth Information and Data SharingDe-identification of Data

May 16, 2019
by Jennifer Bernstein and Sallie Milam

Join us for a discussion of how a modern information infrastructure, built with health and non-health data that are locally relevant, is critical to both public health and its community partners to increase health equity. We will examine how public health may more widely use de-identification to make more timely, reliable, sub-county and actionable data available. This webinar will provide an in-depth look at the benefits of utilizing de-identified data and the mechanics of disclosing it.

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The Debate over Air Safety and Children: What the Law Says About Car Seats on Planes

Law & Policy Insights

May 7, 2019
by Jennifer Bernstein

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows children under the age of two to travel in an airplane seated on an adult’s lap, they contend that the safest place for a child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system or device, like a car seat. Despite laws allowing the use of certain car seats on aircraft, airlines are able to establish their own policies, and there is significant confusion among their personnel about what seats can be used.

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Tackling Tough Public Health Problems through Cross-Sector Data Collaborations

WebinarsHealth Information and Data SharingMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

February 28, 2019
by Jennifer Bernstein

Join us for an examination of how cross-sector data sharing initiatives are being used to tackle tough public health problems. The webinar will provide an in-depth look at a cross-sector collaboration in Illinois between public health, law enforcement, emergency medical services, a fire department and a jail aimed at addressing the needs of high utilizers of behavioral health services.

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Learning from the Flint Water Crisis: Legal Implications and Community Public Health Impacts

WebinarsEnvironment, Climate and HealthSafe Drinking Water

May 15, 2018
by Colleen Healy Boufides, Jennifer Bernstein and Peter D. Jacobson

In 2014, while under the control of a state-appointed emergency manager, the city of Flint, Michigan, switched its water source from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River. As a result, lead from the aging service lines to homes leached into the drinking water and poisoned thousands of Flint residents.

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Reducing Flu Deaths in Children through Mandatory Vaccination Laws

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child Health

March 1, 2018
by Jennifer Bernstein

Of the ninety-seven children who have died from influenza since the start of the flu season in October, the CDC said that 3 out of 4 of them had not gotten a flu vaccine. Expanding mandatory flu vaccine laws for preschool aged children could significantly impact overall flu vaccination rates and reduce the number of flu related illnesses and deaths.

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Learning from the Flint Water Crisis – Protecting the Public’s Health During a Financial Emergency

ReportEmergency Legal Preparedness and ResponseEnvironment, Climate and HealthFlint Water Crisis Project

February 13, 2018
by Colleen Healy Boufides, Denise Chrysler, Jennifer Bernstein and Peter D. Jacobson

This report, co-authored by attorneys from the Network for Public Health Law and the University of Michigan School of Public Health, details why shortcomings in the structure and implementation of laws related to public health, safe drinking water, and emergency financial management failed to stop or mitigate the Flint water crisis. Along with key findings, the report provides recommendations to help prevent similar crises from happening in other communities.

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