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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Improving Access to Preventive Care for Children Enrolled in Medicaid

Law & Policy InsightsMaternal and Child HealthMedicaid

August 1, 2019

Forty-six percent of Medicaid spending goes to Managed Care Organizations (MCOs), which receive capitated payments—meaning they get a set dollar amount regardless of how much they spend on providing services. Recent reports suggest that MCOs in numerous states are providing below average or poor preventive care, possibly to millions of Medicaid recipients.

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Addressing Opioid Overdose through Statewide Standing Orders for Naloxone Distribution

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

July 30, 2019

In an effort to combat opioid overdose, the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old, states have attempted to make the overdose-reversing drug naloxone more available through the use of “standing orders” which permit naloxone to be dispensed to an individual with whom the prescriber (e.g. doctor, nurse practitioner) does not have a prescriber-patient relationship, a practice which is otherwise generally prohibited.

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Tick Tock: When Will We See Graphic Warnings on Cigarette Packs?

Law & Policy InsightsSubstance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

July 18, 2019
by Kathleen Hoke

Although the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act directed the FDA to propose graphic warnings to be required on cigarette packages and advertising by June 2011, cigarette packages and ads in the US still do not contain graphic warnings. In August 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics, along with other public health organizations, filed suit against the FDA seeking to force the Agency to propose graphic warnings as mandated by Congress.

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How Public Health Departments and Medical-Legal Partnerships Can Collaborate to Strengthen Community Health Efforts

Law & Policy InsightsMedical-Legal Partnerships

July 12, 2019
by Colleen Healy Boufides

Medical-legal partnership (MLP) attorneys are ideally situated to identify and define the contours of specific legal issues affecting a community’s health. MLPs can also play an important role in informing, guiding, and effectuating strategic legal changes to improve health at the population level. In addition to working with MLPs on public health law and policy initiatives, there are many additional opportunities for public health departments and MLPs to collaborate on a day-to-day basis.

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