The 2020 Public Health Law Virtual Summit, held September 16 - 17, featured national experts’ assessments of the U.S. policy response to the COVID-19 crisis to-date and proposed paths forward to more effective and equitable response and recovery efforts. Sessions covered critical issues including voter safety and participation; health equity for marginalized communities; drug and vaccine development and access; federal, state and local emergency measures; and state preemption. Visit our Summit site and click on a session to view its recording and accompanying materials.
In the U.S., criminal defendants have the right to be represented by an attorney and states and jurisdictions must provide an attorney free of charge to defendants who cannot afford one. Advocates have sought the same right for citizens facing civil cases, including evictions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought light to the eviction crisis, the critical need for housing stability, and the role that lawyers can play in protecting tenants from unlawful and abusive eviction.
The expansive report Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19 includes critical analyses and recommendations from national experts convened to assess the U.S. policy response to the crisis to date. In this Q&A, the Network’s Denise Chrysler and Peter Jacobson discuss some of the key elements in the chapter they co-authored for the report examining the ways in which elected officials and public health officers have used their legal authority to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Network has partnered with All In Data for Community Health on a series of webinars focused on racial equity and data integration. In this excerpt of a webinar Q&A, the Network’s Sallie Milam shares her perspective on the use of data to advance health equity and where trust-building can occur in the data life cycle, including her work with Tribal communities.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced a two-year rollout of a new, easy-to-remember number—988—that callers can use to connect to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This fact sheet addresses 988’s key features, including why it was adopted, current suicide trends and risks, covered provider obligations and timing, and some key features of recent supportive legislation.
Drug overdose continues to claim the lives of tens of thousands of people in the U.S. every year. Opioids, both prescription painkillers and street drugs such as heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, are responsible for the majority of these deaths. In response, states have passed legislation to increase access to the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, including provisions that allow for the distribution of naloxone through pharmacies. Some states have gone further and now require that naloxone be prescribed or offered to some patients. This fact sheet describes those requirements and links to the relevant laws.
Election Day is fast approaching. Millions of Americans have already voted, and the participation rates for both early voting and absentee voting are outpacing previous elections. This is all happening against a backdrop of increasing coronavirus cases across the U.S., litigation over elections administration, and continued disparities in health outcomes among communities of color and low-wealth communities. In this webinar, speakers will discuss voting in the midst of a pandemic, what to expect on Election Day and the days and weeks after, and how participation in the electoral process can create healthier communities and lead to health equity.
The article from the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP) highlights recent updates to NASHP’s interactive map, “How States Collect Data, Report, and Act on COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Disparities,” and reveals that more than half of all states are now actively engaged in advancing equity in their COVID-19 responses and beyond.
The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, in partnership with the National Association of County and City Health Officials, is developing a work group of tribal data experts, public health practitioners serving tribes, and other Native serving partners. The purpose of the work group is to identify legal and practical strategies that have proven to be successful in supporting, facilitating, and enhancing public health focused data sharing. The work group will guide the development of products to promote culturally supportive and effective data sharing by and with tribal and urban Indian communities.
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is seeking a General Counsel (reporting directly to the Commissioner of Health) to act as chief legal officer for the legal department and advise on legal obligation and strategy initiatives for the department. The application deadline is December 31.
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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.