Science Denial and Public Health Law

Law & Policy InsightsMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthPublic Health Advocacy and Decision-Making

February 22, 2023
by Erica White

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, “science denialism” — including misinformation and disinformation — was rampant, engendering opposition to vaccines and other disease mitigation measures, as well as a backlash against public health officials. Combating the spread of misinformation and disinformation requires working with trusted community members and increased government efforts to disseminate clear public health information.

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Renters Bill of Rights – Access to Safe, Quality, Accessible, and Affordable Housing and the Right to Organize

Law & Policy InsightsHealthy and Affordable HousingFood and Housing Insecurity Measures

February 21, 2023
by Kathleen Hoke

Maryland’s Abortion Care Access Act is the first of its kind in the U.S. The new law expands the scope of practice for certain health care providers to allow them to provide abortion care, aims to increase provider diversity through training programs, and improves affordability and equity by requiring insurance coverage for abortion care. Experience and evaluation will help determine whether it is effective at improving safe, convenient, and equitable access to abortion care in Maryland. If so, it could serve as a model for other states looking to increase access, improve patient outcomes, and reduce health inequities.

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Maryland’s Approach to Enhancing Access to Abortion: Expanding Scope of Practice

Law & Policy InsightsLegislation and Legal ChallengesMechanisms for Advancing Public HealthReproductive Health and Equity 

January 26, 2023
by Brianne Schell

Maryland’s Abortion Care Access Act is the first of its kind in the U.S. The new law expands the scope of practice for certain health care providers to allow them to provide abortion care, aims to increase provider diversity through training programs, and improves affordability and equity by requiring insurance coverage for abortion care. Experience and evaluation will help determine whether it is effective at improving safe, convenient, and equitable access to abortion care in Maryland. If so, it could serve as a model for other states looking to increase access, improve patient outcomes, and reduce health inequities.

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Job Opportunity: Senior Program Coordinator

Network News

January 20, 2023

The Network is seeking a Senior Program Coordinator to support our National Director in key initiatives and administrative activities. This role requires excellent planning, problem-solving aptitude, time management, nuanced relationship navigation, attention to detail, and the ability to meet deadlines while juggling multiple requests. A high level of integrity and discretion in handling information and professionalism in dealing with leaders inside and outside the Network is crucial.

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Managing Privacy Risks to Advance Health Equity through Dissemination of Disaggregated Data

Law & Policy InsightsHealth Data Sharing and PrivacyDe-identification of DataHealth Information and Data Sharing

January 10, 2023
by Stephen Murphy

Dissemination of data disaggregated by race and ethnicity is an important step in advancing health equity. However, the public dissemination of datasets that include race and ethnicity raises important legal considerations around privacy, primarily around re-identification. Re-identification refers to the ability to use data from a de-identified dataset to identify individuals. Modifications to the released data can reduce re-identification risks while maximizing the data’s utility.

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Message from the Network’s New National Director

Network News

January 10, 2023
by Vineeta Gupta, M.D., J.D., LL.M

It is with great excitement and gratitude that I write to you as the new National Director of the Network for Public Health Law. I am taking on a role that was previously held by the brilliant Donna E. Levin, under whose leadership the Network has become an essential partner for public health. I feel extremely fortunate to join a team of eminent leaders and dedicated staff at the Network who are tireless in their pursuit of advancing law and policy that promotes public health and health equity. 

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The Often-Unrecognized Public Health Impact of Gambling

Law & Policy InsightsMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

December 15, 2022

According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 85 percent of U.S. adults have gambled at least once in their lives. States benefit from revenue generated by legalized gambling and those funds are often used for specific public good, like education. However, States must recognize another reality, that problem gambling harms individuals and communities (problem gambling has the highest rate of suicide of any addictive disorder) creating a public health challenge that requires funding to prevent or ameliorate.

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Curtailing Implicit Racial Biases in Electronic Health Records

Law & Policy InsightsMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityHealth Data Sharing and PrivacyHealth Information and Data Sharing

December 14, 2022
by Erica White

It’s well established that individual and structural racism has led to disparities in the quality of and access to health care in the U.S. Recent studies show how medical records are another avenue through which bias and discrimination negatively impact care and further perpetuate racial inequities in delivery. Some states and organizations have taken steps to prevent racial inequities from percolating within medical records by issuing recommendations, publishing guidelines, or by mandating implicit bias training for those in the health care field.

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The Network for Public Health Law Names Dr. Vineeta Gupta New National Director

Network News

December 12, 2022

Dr. Vineeta Gupta, a maternal and child health physician and human rights lawyer with three decades of experience in clinical and public health, health justice and equity, and organizational development, has been named the new National Director of the Network for Public Health Law (Network). In this role, Dr. Gupta will serve as chief architect and advocate for the Network’s continued growth and impact.

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Legislative Trends in Health and Racial Equity, 2021-2022

Law & Policy InsightsMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityLegislation and Legal Challenges

December 9, 2022
by Dawn Hunter and Sara Rogers

Creating a government that is truly for everyone requires laws and policies that eliminate racial and ethnic disparities and improve outcomes for all. As 2023 state legislative sessions approach, it is important to look back at trends over the last few years in legislation impacting health and racial equity to understand how states are trying to address the health impacts of racism, be accountable for commitments to address racism as a public health crisis, and ensure the conditions for all people to thrive. State legislation is one important mechanism for creating the infrastructure for healthy communities. We assessed legislation for the past two years, looking at 447 bills. Below, we discuss two important trends.

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Taking Action to Address the Human Health Impacts of Climate Change

Law & Policy InsightsEnvironment, Climate and HealthMechanisms for Advancing Health EquityMechanisms for Advancing Public Health

November 30, 2022
by Betsy Lawton and Jill Krueger

The Lancet Countdown’s annual report, “Tracking Progress On Health and Climate Change,” highlights the immediate need for a health-centered response to climate change. Recognizing the need to build a shared understanding of how public health law can and should help mitigate climate change, presenters and attendees at the Network’s first-ever Climate and Health Equity Summit, held in Minneapolis in October, highlighted numerous legal and policy strategies to mitigate climate change and lessen its impacts on human health.

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