Thursday, June 17, 2021
Over the past ten years, there have been important and lifesaving efforts to address drug related harm. All states have passed laws increasing access to the overdose reversal medication naloxone and nearly all have passed overdose Good Samaritan laws, and dedicated advocates have succeeded in legalizing syringe services programs in several states. Unfortunately, law still overwhelmingly works to increase, rather than decrease, risks to people who use drugs. In this commentary, Corey Davis, director of the Network’s Harm Reduction Legal Project, reflects on efforts to address the opioid epidemic and why additional systemic change is needed. Read more.
California v. Texas
In a brief, 7-2 majority Opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected all constitutional and other claims brought against the continued enforcement and implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, dismissing multiple state and individual plaintiffs’ claims for lack of standing.
Pride Month: Law and Policy Developments Impacting the LGBTQ + Community
Pride Month is a celebration by and among individuals and communities of sometimes-hard-won acceptance and affirmation of sexual orientation and gender identity. This month, Network attorneys highlight recent law and policy developments related to health equity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Car Seats and Rideshare Services: The Need for Improved Safety Laws
Every state has laws regarding child safety restraints for young children while riding in a motor vehicle. But, what happens when parents of young children travel? Rideshares, like Uber and Lyft, are an attractive way to get from the airport to a hotel or other destination. Unfortunately, the requirements around using child safety restraints in rideshares vary by state and are often vague.
Harm Reduction Legal Project Resource Roundup
Despite COVID-19 introducing many to the concept of “harm reduction” when it comes to the pandemic, harm reduction in the drug use world has recently been under attack, from closures of syringe exchanges to the passage of laws making it virtually impossible for harm reduction organizations to operate. Given recent efforts to diminish or end harm reduction practices that have known efficacy, those working in the field might find these resources from the Network’s Harm Reduction Legal Project of help.
Strengthening Public Health Authority to Contain and Prevent Communicable Disease
In its pervasive scope, its high rate of asymptomatic spread, and its economic impact, the COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in the United States and the world. Initial analyses have revealed both strengths and areas for improvement in the U.S. public health system’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact sheet outlines efforts, both legislative and other, to evaluate and improve public health authority and emergency response in the aftermath of the pandemic.
COVID-19 Illustrates Need to Close the Digital Divide
The Network has joined with public health law partners to produce a new report, COVID-19 Policy Playbook: Legal Recommendations for a Safer, More Equitable Future, examining policy challenges and opportunities in light of the pandemic. In this Q&A, Betsy Lawton, staff attorney at the Network’s Northern Region Office, discusses some of the key elements in the chapter she authored: "COVID-19 Illustrates Need to Close the Digital Divide."
Equitable Rebuilding from COVID-19: Strengthening Protections for Communities
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST | June 22, 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic has created profound challenges to public health’s efforts to protect communities. From ensuring the safety of voters to making difficult decisions under extreme conditions, public health professionals have had to address unprecedented and complicated issues in the process of exercising their authority. Join us for a discussion of how we can strengthen our public health emergency response and address the inequities that the pandemic has further exacerbated.
Public Health Under Threat: An Examination of State Laws Protecting Public Health Officials from Harassment
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST | June 24, 2021
Nationwide, state and local public health officials working to protect the public from COVID-19 are on the receiving end of threatening and harassing conduct for fulfilling their duty to protect the public’s health. Attend this webinar for a review of states with criminal statutes that hold accountable individuals who impede public health officials’ duties with such behavior, along with an analysis of public health official turnover, and a discussion of the most common concerns and issues faced by public health officials during the pandemic.
The Network is seeking a Program Associate to provide program and communications support for our National Office. This position is responsible for tracking and reporting on Network services and products, assisting on webinars, posting website content, compiling e-newsletters, as well as meetings and events coordination. Apply today.
Public Health Senior Attorney
The Network is seeking a Senior Attorney to work with our Mid-States Region Office, located at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, in Ann Arbor, Michigan (we will consider applicants who are willing and able to work remotely). The Senior Attorney will focus on legal issues regarding the collection, sharing, and protection of data for public health purposes, including addressing determinants of health and promoting racial and health equity. For best consideration, apply by June 17, 2021. Apply today.
Chief Legal Officer, Georgia Department of Public Health
Under the administrative direction of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Commissioner, the individual advises the Commissioner and DPH staff in all legal matters pertaining to the daily operations of DPH. This individual will manage the legal division and will ensure that all activities of DPH are legally supportable and carried out in accordance with applicable laws, regulations, and rules. Learn more and apply.
Challenges and Opportunities for Strengthening the US Public Health Infrastructure
This report summarizes the findings of a scan of peer reviewed and gray literature to better understand current weaknesses and challenges impacting the U.S. public health system’s infrastructure, and to identify opportunities for addressing these issues. Dawn Hunter, deputy director of the Network’s Southeastern Region Office served on the Technical Expert Panel advising on this report.
Racial Disparities in Health Care
James Hodge, director of the Network’s Western Region Office and Dawn Hunter, deputy director of the Network’s Southeastern Region Office, participated in this one-day virtual convener, hosted by the American Health Law association on April 12, 2021. Participants discussed all aspects of health disparities and equity in health care, social determinants of health, the impact of law on these issues, and what can be done to address these issues now and in the future.
Journal of Public Health Management and Practice Leadership Library
This Journal of Public Health Management and Practice resource is a compilation of their regular column—The Management Moment—which provides public health practitioners with succinct summaries on the practice of public health leadership. The Leadership Library is designed as a “one stop shop” resource for students in public health graduate schools, for public health agency staff, and for individual professionals engaged in coaching and mentoring activity.
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.