Thursday, November 18, 2021
On November 5, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) regarding COVID-19 employer vaccine mandates. The ETS establishes minimum requirements for select workplace mandatory vaccination policies affecting employers with more than 100 employees (with some key exceptions). By OSHA estimates, these rules will impact over 264,000 employers and 84 million employees. This guidance resource highlights a few key elements of the ETS. Read more.
Addressing Disparities in Crisis Standard of Care Implementation
While the impacts of the pandemic have shifted slightly over time, COVID-19 continues to disproportionately impact Hispanic, Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native populations. These disparities have also shone a light on decision-making tools incorporated into Crisis Standard of Care plans, which are intended to save the most lives through triage decisions when resources are scarce and patient populations are surging, as they have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is critical that triage policies incorporate equitable allocation criteria to avoid continued and exacerbation of disparities, and to begin attempts to reduce and eliminate them.
COVID-19’s Impact on Childbirth: The Growing Popularity of Out-of-Hospital Deliveries and Barriers to Access
Increased fear over the safety of hospitals along with policies designed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including limiting the number of guests allowed in delivery rooms, mandating inductions or caesarian sections, and separating newborns from birthing parents suspected of having COVID-19, has driven many families to make the decision to give birth at home or at a birthing center. The increased demand for out-of-hospital deliveries has quickly overwhelmed the limited number of birth centers and midwives providing home birth services in the U.S.–highlighting a gap in the country’s healthcare system. Changes in state licensure schemes and practice regulations for midwives and birthing centers could make out-of-hospital births more accessible and affordable.
Legality of Dispensing Expired Naloxone in Washington
Opioids, either alone or in combination with other drugs or alcohol, were responsible for approximately 70 percent of the 93,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. 2020. 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. While these laws have been successful in increasing access to this lifesaving medication, few explicitly address the legality of distributing and administering naloxone that is past its expiration date. This fact sheet briefly discusses the efficacy of expired naloxone and examines whether Washington law permits the distribution and administration of such naloxone.
Q&A: Tracking How Voting Impacts Health
Voting impacts public health policies ranging from healthcare access to gun control and LGBTQ rights. In this Q&A, Network Southeastern Region Office Director Dawn Hunter discusses the newly launched Health & Democracy Index, which shows measures of health status (individual and population health and other population characteristics, including self-rated health, premature mortality, infant mortality, poverty rates, and community and family safety) relative to the Cost of Voting Index for each state. Dawn also outlines legal and policy strategies to improve voter participation and health.
Critical Public Health Issues in 2021: The Year in Review
1:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST | December 15, 2021
Attend this webinar for an examination of some of the most important and pressing public health issues in 2021 and their potential impacts on public health going forward. Network attorneys will discuss declarations of racism as a public health crisis, the ongoing epidemic of drug related harm, threats to public health measures and authority, and harassment of public health officials.
Legal and Policy Assistance to Address Racial Health Equity
The Network is pleased to announce this call for applications from organizations seeking legal and policy support to promote racial health equity. We are seeking applicants developing or working on a specific issue that has a racial equity aspect that would benefit from legal and policy assistance. This work can be at any stage of development. The Network can provide technical assistance and help you identify how law and policy can support your racial health equity project or plan. The Network will accept applications on a rolling basis starting in November 2021 through December 10th, 2021. Learn more and apply.
2021 Public Health Law Conference Session Recordings
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. During this critical time for public health, hundreds in the public health community convened at the 2021 Virtual Public Health Law Conference to discuss and explore these significant issues and more. Video recordings of all 40 sessions and the general sessions are now available. Conference attendees can access the recordings through their Whova conference link and non-attendees can purchase access to the conference session recordings here.
Job Opportunity: Public Health Attorney (Mid-States Region)
The Network is hiring 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. 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 January 7, 2022. Read the full job description and apply.
The NativeDATA toolkit was developed to support Tribes and Native-serving organizations in obtaining and sharing health data. Network attorney Carrie Waggoner was among the advisory workgroup members that assisted in the development of the toolkit which offers practical guidance for obtaining and sharing health data in ways that honor Tribal sovereignty, data sovereignty, and public health authority.
Community Benefit Insight
In exchange for their tax-exempt status, tax-exempt hospitals are required to provide a community benefit, which can include initiatives for community health improvement. Developed by RTI International, with partial funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this website aggregates data on U.S.-based nonprofit hospital community benefit spending and assists in understanding linkages between community benefit expenditures and community health needs.
The Rise of the Dental Therapy Movement in Tribal Nations and the U.S.
This new book, published by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, examines a community-led movement that addresses the oral health crisis in the United States through an approach centered on equity, access and opportunity. It documents how the growth of this movement has increased access to dental care through the training and deployment of mid-level care providers known as dental therapists.
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.