Public Health Law Blog

Supervised Consumption Sites Win in Court

posted on Wed, Oct 9 2019 4:24 pm by Corey Davis

Supervised consumption spaces (SCS) allow people who use drugs to consume those drugs in a controlled setting, under supervision. SCS provide safe injecting equipment and other health supplies and, in most cases, also provide services including medical care, counseling, and referrals to drug treatment. While many states have taken steps towards authorizing or implementing SCS, the federal government has taken a strong stance against them.

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Protecting Child Agricultural Workers

posted on Wed, Oct 9 2019 4:22 pm by Megan Griest

There are approximately two million farms in the U.S. and 893,000 young people living on them. Just more than half of these young people work on the farm where they live. According to research studies, about every three days a child dies from an agriculture-related incident, and about 33 children are injured in agriculture-related incidents each day. While child labor laws protect young people working in other industries, these laws do not extend to the many working in agriculture.

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

posted on Tue, Oct 8 2019 3:47 pm by 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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Do NFL Policies Discourage Players from Receiving Needed Mental Health Treatment?

posted on Wed, Sep 25 2019 3:37 pm by Chloe Raquel Woods

There is an established link between mental illness and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease believed to be caused by repeated brain trauma, including sports related concussions. CTE has been recognized as a contributing factor in the deaths of an alarming number of NFL players, but as the NFL classifies mental illness as an injury, it may inadvertently be discouraging and disincentivizing players from disclosing a debilitating mental disability.

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TEFCA Enables Nationwide Exchange of Electronic Health Information for Public Health

posted on Wed, Sep 25 2019 2:48 pm by Sallie Milam

The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) enables health information to be shared nationwide by public health, government agencies, individuals, providers, payers and technology developers. TEFCA promises to position public health to work faster and more efficiently towards health equity by enabling better reporting, cross-jurisdictional information exchange, surveillance, tracking and outbreak investigation.

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Michigan Becomes First State to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

posted on Tue, Sep 10 2019 1:47 pm 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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Civil Rights Law and the Determinants of Health: How Some States Have Utilized Civil Rights Laws to Increase Protections against Discrimination

posted on Tue, Sep 10 2019 1:36 pm by Dawn Pepin and Samantha Bent Weber

One fundamental barrier to eliminating health disparities, particularly with regard to the determinants of health, is the persistence of discrimination. Civil rights law is the primary legal mechanism used to address discrimination. In this Q&A, the authors of this article from the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics highlight examples of how some states are using civil rights laws to combat discrimination, particularly in more expansive ways and in the interest of new populations, presenting tools that can target determinants and address the goal of reducing health disparities.

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Social-Emotional Learning Improves Children's Health Outcomes (and Other Reasons Public Health Should Take Notice)

posted on Tue, Sep 10 2019 12:43 pm by Jill Krueger

Social and emotional learning (SEL) has emerged as a powerful framework for the development of programs and interventions designed to increase high school graduation rates, lower absenteeism, and improve academic performance. SEL competencies are highly correlated with desirable public health outcomes, offering a prime opportunity for health departments.

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Providing Policy Expertise as Maryland Explores the Challenges of Recreational Marijuana Legalization

posted on Wed, Aug 28 2019 1:27 pm by Mathew Swinburne

In 2019, 27 states introduced legislation to legalize recreational marijuana but only one, Illinois, was successful in passing a law.  The Network’s Mathew Swinburne participated in a legislative workgroup in Maryland tasked with studying critical aspects of marijuana legalization and shares valuable insights that can help jurisdictions better understand the public health, law and policy implications.

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Congressional Efforts to Address Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

posted on Tue, Aug 27 2019 4:19 pm by Daniel Young

The United States is experiencing a crisis of maternal morbidity and mortality. Sixty percent of the roughly 700 deaths from pregnancy-related complications each year are considered preventable. In response, lawmakers have introduced a host of legislation aimed at improving maternal health and reducing the maternal mortality rate, particularly among those groups that are disproportionately impacted, including black and Hispanic mothers.

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