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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Congressional Efforts to Address Maternal Morbidity and Mortality

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child Health

August 27, 2019
by Corey Davis

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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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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How the “Health at Every Size” Movement Can Help Inform the Public Health Conversation on Obesity

Law & Policy Insights

August 13, 2019
by Leila Barraza

The popular social justice movement Health at Every Size focuses on health improvement as the goal, irrespective to weight loss, and advocates for social acceptance of all body sizes, including morbid obesity. With obesity prevalence at an all-time high in the U.S., some public health officials are concerned that persons who view obesity as healthy are less likely to lose weight, increasing their risks for many chronic health conditions, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.

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Equity in Action: Operationalizing Processes in State Governance

Law & Policy Insights

August 13, 2019

The Journal of Law Medicine and Ethics recently published a special supplement with articles exploring critical topics discussed at the 2018 National Public Health Law Conference. In this Q&A, the co-authors of the article, “Equity in Action: Operationalizing Processes in State Governance” discuss their article, which examines efforts to embed an equity lens in legislated and non-legislated policies and practices in three states and describes progress and lessons learned and offers guidance to others.

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By Treating Alcohol as an Ordinary Commodity, the Supreme Court Has Likely Opened the Door to More Legal Challenges

Law & Policy Insights

August 13, 2019

Excessive alcohol use is responsible for approximately 88,000 deaths every year, among many other health risks, and research shows that the more readily available alcohol is in a community, the greater the negative impacts. The U.S. Supreme Court recently overturned a Tennessee law regulating the distribution of alcohol, a move that many public health advocates fear is likely to be a harbinger of more restrictions on state and local government ability to regulate alcohol for health or safety purposes.

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A Quiet Epidemic: Solving Incidences of Vehicular Heatstroke

Law & Policy InsightsInjury Prevention and Safety

August 1, 2019
by James G. Hodge, Jr.

Since 1988 there have been 4,500 documented cases of children endangered because a parent or guardian left them unattended in a parked car. More than 36 children die annually across America each year from vehicular heatstroke. Federal law has been introduced to prevent these tragic deaths, but stronger state laws can also help protect children.

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