This is a critical time for public health. The impacts of the COVID pandemic have been devastating and there are numerous efforts by state legislatures nationwide to significantly reduce public health’s authority to address future disease outbreaks. Given the urgent need to convene to discuss and explore law and policy pathways to protect and empower our public health efforts, we are pivoting to hold our conference virtually rather than in person to allow for the greatest participation. Join us and select from more than 40 sessions, networking roundtables, and leadership plenaries that will inform and inspire. Register by September 3 to receive a packet of conference goodies mailed to your home or office. Learn more and register.
Childhood Blood Lead Testing Rates Dropped Drastically During 2020: We Need to Sound the Alarm
Testing rates for blood lead levels (BLLs) in children were alarmingly low before the pandemic and the rates have only decreased since. This is of particular concern given the possibility of increased lead exposure among children due to significantly reduced lead inspections and remediation efforts as a result of the pandemic, along with the increased time children are spending at home. Part of the ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic must include a focus on reconnecting kids with the screening, services, and care needed to detect and mitigate lead poisoning’s lifelong consequences.
Are Nonprofits Liable for the Actions of Medical Contacts Shared with Emergency Volunteer Registration Systems?
Nonprofit membership organizations representing specific medical specialists like ER doctors, nurses, and mental health counselors are often asked by managers of volunteer registration systems to share names of members willing to provide assistance during public emergencies. While these registries are an important vehicle for mobilizing specialists during a crisis, the question arises as to whether the organization providing the names of individuals for the registry might be liable if harm is caused as a result of the actions taken by the volunteers whose names they submitted.
Federal PREP Act Liability Protections for COVID-19 Vaccination
Local health departments play a crucial role in prescribing and administering COVID-19 vaccines and in supervising and administering COVID-19 vaccination programs. This new role has raised questions about the liability protections available to local health departments and their employees. This guidance resource addresses the question of the extent to which a local health department employee, and the health department, are protected from liability under the Federal PREP Act when administrating COVID-19 vaccines.
Crisis Standards of Care: Legal Issues Underlying Key Decisions Regarding Scarce Resources
During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals across the nation have confronted patient surges and resource shortages consistent with implementing crisis standards of care (CSC). The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) define CSC as a “substantial change in usual health care operations and the level of care it is possible to deliver.” However, no set of legal issues are more profound than those implicated in making actual decisions about which patient[s] receive specific care in emergencies. This issue brief lists core legal issues and concerns that may arise when a resource allocation or treatment decision is made under CSC.
Applications Now Open for Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health Program
The Diverse Executives Leading in Public Health is a new program of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO) and the Satcher Health Leadership Institute (SHLI). The program seeks to recruit 15 mid-to-senior-level governmental public health professionals in public health leadership and support learning, networking, and professional development opportunities to grow a cohort of leaders nationwide. This first cohort will focus on underrepresented groups, including people of color, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Application Deadline: Sept. 7, 2021
A Session Like No Other: An Overview of 2021’s Unprecedented Wave of State Preemption Bills
In 2021, state legislatures across the country introduced a number of preemption bills blocking, removing, or penalizing local authority. This report from The Local Solutions Support Center provides detail on the more than 400 preemption bills introduced nationwide during the most recent legislative session, many of which have significant implications for public health, people of color, women and those in the BIPOC and LGBTQ community.
Digital Contact Tracing Technology: Privacy and Equity Principles, Framework, and Stakeholder Proceedings
As part of its Privacy and Pandemics initiative, the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF), together with Dialogue on Diversity, the National Alliance Against Disparities in Patient Health (NADPH), BrightHive, and LGBT Tech, have developed a set of principles to support privacy and equity in the implementation of digital contact tracing technology (DCTT). This report outlines the actions organizations should take in order to successful implement privacy-preserving DCTT.
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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.