Thursday, April 23, 2020
Public health officials must routinely make difficult decisions whether, when, and how to act and what information to release to protect the public from a threat, such as COVID-19. Attend this webinar to learn about a legal and ethical framework for executive decision-making, and strategies to avoid second-guessing and reduce exposure to liability based on hindsight. Presenters will provide a tool for effective and ethical executive decision-making and real-time documentation of the factual basis for a decision, reflecting information available at the time the decision was made.
Law and Policy Perspectives
Protect and Improve Air Quality to Prevent High Mortality Rates from Future Pandemics
Evidence links exposure to higher levels of air pollution to an increased risk of death from novel and emerging infectious diseases such as the 2003 SARS outbreak and the current COVID-19 pandemic. As the earth’s climate warms and animals and humans relocate to more habitable locations, increased interactions with a variety of wildlife in new and different contexts places humans at risk of new viruses, making preventative measures to reduce pollution and address underlying health vulnerabilities such as asthma, chronic lung disease, or heart conditions even more important.
COVID-19 Pandemic Response Magnifies the Homework Gap
With schools closing across the country in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of children are attempting to continue their education from home. However, disparities in internet access that impact children’s ability to engage in their schoolwork threatens to widen educational inequities. Education is a key determinant of health that impacts many health outcomes, including lifespan. While the pandemic did not create this problem, COVID-19 shines a light on this inequity and magnifies its effect on the education of millions of American children.
Securing More Temporary Housing for People Experiencing Homelessness amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Homeless populations are particularly vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike persons who can home-isolate, homeless persons may be forced to endure additional risks of exposure through their environment. The same underlying health conditions that disproportionately impact the homeless (heart disease, HIV, diabetes) escalate the threat of COVID-19 infection. States are increasingly recognizing that alternative housing options, including converted hotels and other available non-shelter facilities, are crucial to protecting the homeless.
Characteristics of Statewide Naloxone Distribution Mechanisms
To address the ongoing overdose epidemic, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have modified their laws to increase access to naloxone, the standard first-line treatment for opioid overdose. The majority of these laws permit the medication to be distributed under a blanket directive without the prescriber having examined the patient, a process technically referred to as “non-patient specific prescription.” In most states this takes the form of a standing order issued by a physician or other prescriber. This resource examines the mechanisms used in each state to distribute naloxone.
Key Federal Programs to Address Student Food Insecurity When School is out of Session
Currently, one in seven children within the United States struggles with hunger. The repercussions of food insecurity are severe and do not cease following adolescence, but span into adulthood. The federal National School Lunch Program (“NSLP”) and the School Breakfast Program (“SBP”) attempt to fill in nutrition gaps for low-income children. The Seamless Summer Option (“SSO”), the Summer Food Service Program (“SFSP”), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (“CACFP”), and the After School Snack Program, are federal nutrition programs that address nutrition gaps that occur outside of the traditional school calendar. This issue brief examines federal programming geared toward filling the gaps that the NSLP and the SBP do not address, and innovative solutions that make the SSO, SFSP, CACFP, and the After School Snack Program work to their fullest potential.
Free COVID-19 Communications Resources for Public Health Organizations
The CDC Foundation has created COVID-19 informational materials that public health departments can customize and brand as needed. The materials include social media graphics and animations with messaging about staying home and other steps to prevent transmission. There are also graphics with information about essential businesses, mental health, school closures, symptoms, testing and unemployment.
Research Scholar Position(s) — Public Health Law & Policy
The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is seeking applicants for the position of Research Scholar in its Center for Public Health Law and Policy. Candidate(s) will work full-time with a collaborative team of faculty, fellows, and students on national and regional public health law and policy projects, with a special focus on COVID-19 response efforts in collaboration with the Network for Public Health Law – Western Region Office. Candidates must have received their J.D. degree from an accredited law school prior to commencement as well as exceptional academic credentials. The position announcement is open through May 29, 2020 with an anticipated start date no later than August 15, 2020.
Public Health Attorney
The Network is seeking a Public Health Attorney to work in its Northern Region Office, located in Edina, Minnesota. The Public Health Attorney will provide legal technical assistance, conduct trainings, develop tools and educational materials, and facilitate opportunities for networking and peer-assistance on a wide variety of public health law topics, including COVID-19 response and recovery. The Attorney will develop particular areas of focus related to the intersection of health equity and at least two of the following, as determined through the needs of the Network and interest of the attorney: public health powers and authority, mental health and well-being, rural health, telehealth, and climate and health. For best consideration, please apply by April 25, 2020.
The Network has an opening for a Program Associate at its National Office in Edina, Minnesota. The Program Associate will be responsible for supporting program activities for the Network including data management and reporting, website publishing, and coordination for conferences and meetings. The Program Associate must have the ability to work collaboratively within project teams, and interact effectively with staff, leadership, consultants, members, funders and sponsors. For best consideration, please apply by April 30, 2020.
Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!
The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.