Webinar Series Archive

Examining the Impact of Lead Laws on Housing Quality and Children’s Health

Listen to and watch this webinar that took place on Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 1-2 p.m. (ET). Download the slides here.
Presenters: Carla Campbell, M.D., M.S., Associate Teaching Professor, Drexel School of Public Health, Philadelphia, Pa., Michael Hanley, J.D., Senior Attorney, Empire Justice Center, Rochester, N.Y., Anita Weinberg, J.D., M.S.S.W., Clinical Professor, Loyola University of Chicago, and Director, ChildLaw Policy Institute, Chicago, Ill.
Across the United States, children are being exposed to lead in poor-quality housing, and elevated blood lead levels (EBLLs) are a major environmental problem for U.S. children. Recently, because of concerns about adverse effects of lead exposure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lowered the blood lead level at which children should receive clinical and public health management, underscoring the need to improve housing inspection and enforcement to find and remove lead hazards in housing. In this webinar, the presenters will offer suggestions for how to structure and pass legislation to prevent children from being poisoned by lead  using  legislation in Illinois as an example, and highlighting other local jurisdictions around the country that have passed laws that have used a variety of “primary prevention” approaches. The presenters will also briefly examine the way Philadelphia has used a specialty lead court to successfully enforce laws regulating this issue.
Supreme Court

Model Aquatic Health Code

Listen to and watch the webinar held Thursday, August 16 from 1-2 p.m. ET.  


Presenters: Jasen Kunz, M.P.H., lieutenant commander, United States Public Health Service; and Doug Farquhar, J.D., program director for Environmental Health, National Conference of State Legislatures


The Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) is designed to prevent drowning, injuries and the spread of recreational water illnesses at public swimming pools and spas. The presenters will discuss the goals, outcomes and benefits of the MAHC and describe the role public health officials have in implementing this code. Attend the webinar to learn how to implement the MAHC into state and local policy, learn about case studies describing the challenges of introducing the MAHC in various states and understand the long-term campaign to promote the MAHC nationwide. Download the slides for the webinar here. You may qualify for CLE credit.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s Decision on the Constitutionality of the ACA

Listen to and watch the webinar held on July 19. In addition, during the Q & A portion, the presenters referred to a Disproportionate Share Hospital Payments and the Medicaid Expansion Paper that can be accessed here and to a brief filed by several public health organizations that can be accessed here.


Presenters: Sarah Somers, J.D., M.P.H., managing attorney, Network for Public Health Law – Southeastern Region and National Health Law Program (NHeLP); Corey Davis, J.D., M.S.P.H., staff attorney, Network for Public Health Law – Southeastern Region and National Health Law Program (NHeLP)


In March 2012, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court considered four questions, including whether the ACA’s individual mandate and Medicaid expansion provisions are constitutional. In a landmark decision on June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court ruled the ACA as constitutional, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read. In this webinar, the presenters discussed the Supreme Court's decision and its implications for the ACA's reforms to the individual insurance market, the Medicaid expansion and, of course, the future of the ACA's public health-related provisions and the federal funding that goes along with them. In addition, find more resources on the ACA and the Supreme Court decision here


Nutrition as a Winnable Battle

Listen to and watch the webinar held on April 19 


Presenters: Jennifer L. Pomeranz, J.D., M.P.H.,  director of legal initiatives, Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Yale University; Lainie Rutkow, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of health policy and management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and senior fellow, Johns Hopkins Center for Law and the Public’s Health; Julie Ralston Aoki, J.D., staff attorney, Public Health Law Center, William Mitchell College of Law


The nation is currently facing urgent issues surrounding nutrition. Overweight and obesity rates have skyrocketed and excess weight contributes to many of the leading causes of death in the U.S. In addition, in 2008, overall medical care costs related to obesity for U.S. adults were estimated to be as high as $147 billion. Health disparities play a large role with prices of more healthful foods increasing faster than prices for less healthful foods. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has targeted nutrition, physical activity and obesity as a “winnable battle,” and this webinar will look at how law and policy might play a role in successfully improving nutrition. Topics covered will include sugar-sweetened beverage taxes, nutrition labeling revisions, consumer protection lawsuits, menu labeling, food marketing standards, front of package labeling and sodium reduction strategies. Panelists will discuss areas where public health has succeeded in changing the policy landscape and also discuss past efforts where success is less clear.


Recent Developments in FDA’s Emergency Authority

Listen to and watch this webinar held on March 15. For additional information, read the questions posed by webinar attendees and answers from presenters.


Presenters: Elizabeth Sadove, J.D., senior regulatory counsel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats; Brooke Courtney, J.D., M.P.H., regulatory counsel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats; Heather McDowell, J.D., regulatory counsel, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats; Moderator: James G. Hodge, Jr., director, Network for Public Health Law - Western Region


Medical countermeasures (MCMs), such as drugs, vaccines and diagnostic devices, are often essential components of public health emergency responses. During and in preparation for such emergencies, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plays a critical role in how federal, state and local agencies use MCMs. In this webinar, attorneys from the FDA’s Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats will discuss legal authorities related to MCMs. They will focus on Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) and recent EUA activities, including doxycycline mass dispensing and the National Postal Model, as well as shelf-life extension of stockpiled MCMs, preemption and more. Presenters will also discuss the potential impact of the reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) on FDA’s emergency authority and on federal, state and local MCM preparedness and response efforts.


Learning More about Health Impact Assessments

Listen to and watch the webinar held on February 16, 2012


Presenters: Aaron Wernham, M.D., director, Health Impact Project; Harmony Gmazel, M.S., land use planner, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Lansing, Michigan; Erin Fuse Brown, J.D., M.P.H., deputy director, the Network's Western Region at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law

Health impact assessments (HIAs) bring together scientific data, health expertise and public input to identify the potential—and often overlooked—health effects of proposed laws, regulations, projects and programs. HIAs provide decision makers with the information they need to advance smarter policies to help build safe, healthy, thriving communities. This webinar provided a basic overview of HIAs; examined the development of an innovative HIA tool; and explored the legal authority authorizing, supporting or prohibiting HIAs. The Great Lakes Public Health Coalition provided special support for this webinar.

Gun Laws

Gun Violence, Mental Illness and Firearms Laws: Research Evidence and Questions for Science, Policy and Practice

Listen to and watch the webinar held on January 26, 2012


Presenters: Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University School of Medicine; Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Law, Columbia University; Michael Luo, Investigative Reporter, The New York Times; Joshua Horwitz, J.D., Executive Director, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence


This webinar discusses the problem of gun violence in the U.S.—its prevalence, causes and potential legal and policy approaches to reduce the problem. The webinar focuses on what is known about the contribution of mental illness to violence and considers the implications of this (somewhat ambiguous) research literature for laws that seek to limit firearms access for people with mental disorders who may pose a danger. The presentation discusses research findings on whether current federal and state firearms restrictions reduce gun violence, and lays out an agenda for needed future research. 

Future of Primary Care Webinar

Future of Primary Care: The Changing Role of the Primary Care Provider

Listen to and watch this webinar held on November 17, 2011


Presenters: Corey Davis, J.D., M.S.P.H, Staff Attorney, Network for Public Health Law–Southeastern Region; Tine Hansen-Turton, J.D., M.G.A., CEO, National Nursing Centers Consortium; and Julie Fairman, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., Director, Barbara Bates Center for the Study of the History of Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania.


The benefits of accessible and high quality primary care are profound for individual and population health. By enabling early diagnosis and treatment of health risks and disease, primary care saves lives and results in more efficient use of resources. Despite the importance of primary care, access to primary care remains strikingly inadequate. A common problem is the scarcity of primary care providers. One potential intervention is to authorize nurse practitioners to provide primary care – a departure from the traditional model. This webinar will introduce evidence on the role of nurse practitioners as primary care providers; touch on issues of quality, cost and access; and discuss the current differences of related state laws. You may qualify for CLE credit.

Distracted Driving Laws: Where are we? Where should we be going?

Listen to and watch this webinar held on October 20, 2011


Driver distraction is a major cause of automobile accidents in the United State. At a fast pace, states are enacting laws that limit driving and the use of mobile communications devices (MCDs). These laws vary by the type of communication activities and categories of driver that they regulate, as well as by enforcement and punishments.


This webinar will discuss the scope of the problem, the nature of the risks, the evolution of state laws and the apparent divergence between the existing evidence about the problem and the laws. The webinar will end with a period of discussion in which participants can ask questions of the presenters.

State Public Reporting Laws of Healthcare-Associated Infections

Listen to and watch the webinar held on September 22, 2011. Click here to view the slides only.


Presenters: Julie Reagan, Ph.D., J.D., M.P.H., attorney and healthcare consultant, HAI Focus; and Rick Hogan, J.D., M.P.H., general counsel, Arkansas Department of Health


Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are infections acquired by patients during the course of receiving medical care for some other condition. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 out of every 20 hospitalized patients will contract an HAI. The majority of U.S. states have responded by enacting HAI public reporting laws. This webinar provides a review of U.S. state and territorial HAI laws, the most common legal provisions and the role of the federal government, as well as a case example of Arkansas.

Legal and Political Aspects of Public Health Agency Accreditation

Listen to and watch the webinar held on August 18, 2011. Click here to view the slides only.
Presenters: Les Beitsch M.D., J.D., associate dean, Division of Health Affairs, Florida State University College of Medicine; Gene W. Matthews, J.D., director, Network for Public Health Law – Southeastern Region; Martie Ross, J.D., partner, Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP.
Health agency accreditation has the potential to provide significant assistance to health departments currently facing serious economic and political challenges. The accreditation process is also an important opportunity for public health professionals to engage community stakeholders. This webinar provides insight into the legal and political implications of the national voluntary public health department accreditation program, which launched on September 14, 2011 by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Presenters discuss how accreditation can identify the potential changes underway in health department legal structures; observations on the PHAB launch; lessons from recent research on the topic; and the Kansas experience as a case study. 


Concussions and Youth Sports: Can the Law Help Prevent Injury?

Listen to and watch the webinar held on July 28, 2011.


Presenters: Kerri McGowan Lowrey, J.D., M.P.H.; Daniel G. Larriviere, M.D., J.D.; Hosea H. Harvey, Ph.D., J.D.; and moderator, Evan Anderson, J.D.


Every year, almost half a million children visit emergency departments for head injuries, many of which are due to sports-related concussions. In the late 1990s, national sports leagues began instituting concussion policies for testing, treatment and return to play. However, many schools and local youth sports organizations have not followed suit. This webinar discusses the physiology of concussions in young athletes; various legislative approaches to address concussions in youth sports; implications in rural and poorer communities; and other legal innovations to address the problem.

Health Reform’s Impact on Comparative Effectiveness and Public Health Outcomes: Something Old Becomes New Again

Listen to and watch the webinar held on June 16, 2011.


Presenters: Eleanor D. Kinney, J.D., M.P.H., Professor and Co-Director, William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University School of Law; Priscilla Keith, J.D., M.S., Director of Research and Projects and Adjunct Professor, William S. and Christine S. Hall Center for Law and Health, Indiana University School of Law; and moderator, Daniel M. Fox, A.B., A.M, Ph.D., president emeritus, Milbank Memorial Fund


Comparative Effectiveness Research (CER) helps the medical and public health community make informed decisions that result in better health outcomes. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) supports the development of CER by authorizing the Patient-Centered Outcome Research Institute. The purpose of the Institute is to improve health outcomes by developing and disseminating research about the effectiveness of different treatments and medicines. In addition, CER compares the health outcomes of different medical treatments. The question as this new initiative moves forward is: How will the era of health reform impact public health outcomes? This webinar investigates this question.

Fracking – Is It Just a Dirty Word?: Environmental and Public Health Considerations of Hydrofracturing

Listen to and watch the webinar held on May 19, 2011.


Presenters: Josh Fox, filmmaker of documentary on fracking, “Gasland”; Avner Vengosh, Ph.D, M.S., Professor, Nicholas School of Environment, Duke University; and John Quigley, M.P.A., principal, John H Quigley LLC


Hyrofracturing, or “fracking,” is a process for removing natural gas from rock formations deep beneath the earth’s surface. New approaches to fracking are raising significant questions about the process’ risk to human and environmental health. Public health and environmental advocates are urging policy-makers to prohibit fracking until the impact is fully evaluated. Several states have considered, and some have passed, legislation regulating fracking or imposing a moratorium during a period of study. This webinar examines the health hazards of fracking, related public health policies and the reactions of the public health community.

The ACA: What It Means for Local Health Departments

Listen to and watch the webinar held on April 21, 2011. (Please note: There is a brief pause between 8:55 to 11:35 due to technical difficulties.)
Presenter: Patrick Libbey, Public Health Consultant
Following up on February’s webinar that provided an overview of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) population health provisions and current litigation, April’s webinar examines the challenges and opportunities of ACA implementation for local health departments. Former NACCHO Executive Director Patrick Libbey, along with Peter Jacobson, present during this hour-long webinar. Libbey has 28 years of local public health experience, including local health department experience as the director of the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department in Olympia, WA. (This webinar is not designed for CLE credits.)


Role of the State Attorneys General in Public Health

Listen to and watch the webinar held on March 17, 2011.
Presenters: Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel; Lainie Rutkow, Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Julie Ralston Aoki, Staff Attorney, Public Health Law Center
State Attorneys General, as chief legal officers of their state, can take a wide range of actions on behalf of the state or the public interest. The Attorneys General have successfully confronted public health issues such as end-of-life care, tobacco control, Medicaid fraud, hospital mergers, food labeling, firearms regulation and pharmaceutical marketing. Assistant attorneys general are also often involved in providing day-to-day legal advice and representation to state health departments and officials. In this webinar, three panelists look at recent successful actions by the state Attorneys General and explore other avenues and powers that the Attorneys General might utilize to address public health issues.