Assault on Public Health Authority to Act for the Collective Good: Confronting the Danger — A Special Town Hall
This Town Hall at the close of the 2021 Virtual Public Health Law Conference will discuss the current climate of threats to public health officials, and to the legal infrastructure and public health’s authority to act to protect the health of communities. After a brief introduction to current aspects of this challenge, Town Hall attendees will participate to share experiences: concerns and successes; strategies to address these threats; legal resources and research needs; and coordination of effort. Learn more and register.
The Network’s Harm Reduction Legal Project Recognizes International Overdose Awareness Day
Like many others, the Network recently recognized the 20th International Overdose Awareness Day, an especially somber occasion given that more people have died from preventable overdose this past year than at any other time. Despite the seemingly endless stream of drug overdose deaths, restrictive laws and policies all too often increase, rather than decrease, the risk of overdose and other drug-related harm.
Improving Childhood Health: The Unrealized Potential of Medicaid’s EPSDT Program
In the United States, millions of children live in poverty and are at a much greater risk of experiencing adverse health outcomes compared to their contemporaries in higher income households. Medicaid’s Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT) service was created to provide essential health screenings for at risk children. Despite requirements that states provide timely screenings for the majority of those eligible, the program consistently falls short of meeting these goals.
Drought: It Doesn’t Have to Leave Us High and Dry (and Unhealthy)
Nearly half of the United States is experiencing abnormally dry conditions this year. The public health implications of drought cannot be underestimated: drought can lead to a lack of clean drinking water, food insecurity, poor air quality, water-borne diseases, mental health concerns, wildfire, and poor sanitation. Solutions that prevent non-essential uses of water, increase natural storage of water in the soil and aquifers, or maintain water and lake levels, may help limit the public health impacts of future droughts by increasing the overall supply of useable water.
Public Health Law News Round-Up
Some of the public health law and policy issues in the headlines in recent weeks include Texas’ new abortion law, the Supreme Court’s decision on the federal eviction moratorium and states’ responses; challenges to Florida Governor’s ban on mask mandates; gaps in data concerning COVID-19 cases; accessibility of mental health care; and the growing suicide rate among communities of color.
Back-to-School Legal Trends and Challenges Related to COVID-19
K–12 schools and parents of K–12 students are facing numerous challenges and uncertainties with the widespread return of in-person learning for the 2021–22 school year. While the return of in-person learning is generally positive, the continued pervasive presence of COVID-19 implicates public health concerns related to the spread of the virus. This fact sheet offers a broad-level overview of issues associated with the return to in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also serves as a starting point and initial resource for individuals seeking information on what actions can be taken to protect K–12 students, as well as school faculty and staff, from COVID-19 in a school setting.
Voting & Health: Opportunities to Expand Inclusion
September 15, 2021 | 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET
Commentary: Legal Interventions to Counter COVID-19 Denialism
James G, Hodge, director, Jennifer L. Piatt, deputy director, and Leila Barraza, senior consultant at the Network’s Western Region Office have coauthored this commentary published in the Journal Of Law, Medicine & Ethics assessing a series of legal challenges and pathways under consideration or in use to counter state-based legal efforts to limit or prohibit the use of known, effective public health powers in response to the continued spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Public Health Law: Concepts and Case Studies
The Network’s Donna Levin, Peter Jacobson, Denise Chrysler, James Hodge, Jennifer Piatt, and Corey Davis are among the contributing authors to the recently published book, Public Health Law - Concepts and Case Studies. The book aims to make law more accessible, empowering students, public health practitioners, and researchers to see law as simply another tool in their toolbox—just like epidemiology, surveillance, biostatistics, and other traditional public health tools.
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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.