Law & Policy Insights

Protecting Child Agricultural Workers

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and HealthHealth Information and Data Sharing

October 9, 2019
by Kerri McGowan Lowrey

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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Supervised Consumption Sites Win in Court

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm ReductionOpioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention

October 9, 2019
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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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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TEFCA Enables Nationwide Exchange of Electronic Health Information for Public Health

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Information and Data Sharing

September 25, 2019
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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Do NFL Policies Discourage Players from Receiving Needed Mental Health Treatment?

Law & Policy InsightsMental Health and Well-BeingInjury Prevention and Safety

September 25, 2019

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

Law & Policy InsightsMental Health and Well-BeingMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

September 10, 2019
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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Civil Rights Law and the Determinants of Health: How Some States Have Utilized Civil Rights Laws to Increase Protections against Discrimination

Law & Policy InsightsPublic Health Statutes and Regulatory Information

September 10, 2019

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

Law & Policy InsightsMarijuana LegalizationSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

August 28, 2019
by Mathew R. Swinburne

Many states allow for license suspension for non-payment of fees and fines for traffic offenses. These suspensions often have significant health impacts, some of which seem obvious—people need transportation to access medical care. But a closer look reveals a plethora of other negative consequences that impact public health.

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Striving for Health Equity through Medical, Public Health, and Legal Collaboration

Law & Policy InsightsMedical-Legal Partnerships

August 27, 2019
by Colleen Healy Boufides

The connection between health and social factors like housing, food security, education and exposure to violence is clear. So, too, are the challenges faced by a health care system that is increasingly expected to address these connections despite the disconnection between treating individual symptoms and participating in population-level strategies to reduce barriers to good health. In this Q&A, the authors of this article from the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics explore how partnerships among health, public health, and legal experts are essential to addressing the upstream causes of poor health.

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