Thursday, March 29, 2012
I recently completed my seventh year as a legislative analyst for the Senate Public Affairs Committee of the New Mexico Legislature. This experience followed my twenty-three year career as an attorney for the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) where, among other duties, I was actively involved in drafting public health legislation and testifying for those bills on behalf of NMDOH.
Thursday, March 22, 2012
This is round three of Andrew Speaker’s lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Speaker, who got worldwide attention in 2007 after flying overseas while knowing he had tuberculosis, sued the CDC in Federal District Court for violating the federal Privacy Act by disclosing his identity and confidential medical information relating to the treatment of his tuberculosis.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Many state departments of health and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend meningococcal vaccinations for all adolescents, yet there are gaps in U.S. vaccination laws. Many states still do not have laws requiring meningitis vaccinations that could prevent an outbreak. Such an outbreak, like the one in Colorado in 2010, can have a huge impact on a community. It spreads among those who live or work in close proximity to others, such as college students in a dorm or school children.
Monday, March 19, 2012
When you think about the relationship between landlords and tenants, public health might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the interplay between our homes and our health is great. Renters have less control over their living environments than those who own their homes, so it is important to have strong housing laws which promote the health of the public.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Public health departments and programs are often the first and last line of defense against chronic disease and acute health problems. Unfortunately, their funding, and with it their ability to help protect and provide for health and safety, is being eroded. The facts are grim: Public health budgets have been cut drastically in recent years.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
While on a Hurricane Katrina relief trip, I heard the heartbreaking story of a woman who lost her husband in another hurricane, years earlier. Unlike tragic stories surrounding Katrina, her story did not involve torrents of water and flying debris. The cause of her husband’s death was one we have all experienced: a power outage. The blackout’s impact on this man was greater than usual as he required a ventilator to breathe.