Network Report



2014 Public Health Law Conference

The Network and ASLME are pleased to announce open registration for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference. Taking place October 16 and 17, 2014 in Atlanta, GA, the conference will gather public health and legal experts from across the country to examine and discuss today’s critical challenges in public health law. Leaders in the field will present on a range of emerging issues from a variety of perspectives. Attendees will return home inspired and equipped to improve public health with legal solutions.

Learn more about the conference and how to get the early bird registration rate.

Current Issues in Public Health Law

Fire Safe Cigarette Laws

Fire-safe cigarette legislation, which contributed significantly to the decline in fire deaths in the last decade, is a prime example of a successful public health law campaign. Kathleen Hoke, Director of the Network’s Eastern Region, examines the evidence-based approach taken by policymakers and other factors that led to the comprehensive success of the laws.

Read more about fire safe cigarette laws.

Public Health Q&A: Public Health Emergency Legal Preparedness

Public health legal preparedness is critical in all areas of public health practice. Network Senior Attorney, Jennifer Bernstein, examines this issue in her article, “Beyond Public Health Emergency Legal Preparedness: Rethinking Best Practices,” in the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics. In this Q&A, she explains the need to focus on evidence and experience based public health law practice, rather than best practices, as a core element in preparedness.

Read the Q&A.

Public Health Law Research: Public Health Departments and State Patient Confidentiality Laws

New data released on Law Atlas provides information on state-by-state laws and regulations on the use, release, and reporting of personal health information for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B and C, syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and tuberculosis. The Public Health Departments and State Patient Confidentiality Laws Map is designed to help health departments effectively use existing laws protecting patient confidentiality to foster collaboration and integration among and within health departments in their efforts to increase positive health outcomes and prevent disease transmission.

Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention

Prescription drug-related deaths now outnumber deaths from heroin and cocaine combined, and drug overdose deaths exceed motor vehicle-related deaths in 29 states and Washington D.C. Recognized strategies can help combat this epidemic, but a new report by Trust for America’s Health reveals that few states are implementing more than a few identified strategies to combat prescription drug abuse.

Learn how states score on drug overdose mortality rates.

Resource: Kansas Law and Ten Essential Public Health Services

In 1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adopted a list of 10 Essential Public Health Services to provide a framework for public health departments. The framework describes the public health activities that should be undertaken in all communities and defines the responsibilities of the local public health system. This new resource analyzes Kansas statutes and whether they hinder or facilitate the ability of local health departments to deliver these essential services.

View the resource.

Webinar: Intimate Partner Violence as a Public Health Issue - Violence Against Women Act and other Legal Protections

Intimate partner violence (IPV) affects millions of individuals across the U.S. Although all IPV victims need access to necessary protections, immigrant women and those in same-sex relationships often lack legal protections and social support networks generally available to others. This webinar, which takes place TODAY from 1 – 2 p.m., will address the importance of viewing IPV as a public health issue and discuss how the Violence Against Women Act and other legal remedies can help vulnerable populations.

Learn more and register for webinar.

Ask the Experts:

Alcohol Control Laws

The Network was recently contacted by a public health practitioner working with a state to reform alcohol control laws to reduce alcohol abuse. The requestor asked for information on state laws regarding home brewing and bootlegging, as well as what state sanctions exist for distribution beyond personal use.

View resources the Network provided for this issue.

Contact the Network to get legal assistance.

The Network at APHA

If you’re attending the APHA Annual Meeting in Boston, be sure to stop by the Network booth at the Public Health Expo. We’re also sponsoring the Law Section Social Hour and the Learning Health System Pep Rally events, and a number of our attorneys will be presenting in sessions.

Student Network Career Panel Webinar

Two leaders in the field of public health law, Marice Ashe, J.D., M.P.H. and Manel Kappagoda, J.D., M.P.H., will speak on the November Student Network Career Panel. Ms. Ashe and Ms. Kappagoda will discuss their experiences building their careers in public health law, share recommendations for students and young professionals interested in the field, and answer questions during a Q&A session. This webinar takes place on November 8, 1 – 2 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for career webinar.

Network People

Browne Lewis is the Leon & Gloria Plevin Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Health Law & Policy at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Professor Lewis writes in the areas of bioethics, family and reproductive law. Professor Lewis is one of six scholars chosen for Scholars in Residence, a fellowship program of the Network and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For her fellowship project, Professor Lewis will work with both the Cleveland Department of Public Health and the Shaker Heights Department of Public Health to examine potential ways to remove the barriers to the local regulation of small cigars.

More about Browne Lewis and her work.