Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), believes we haven’t even come close to solving America’s drunk-driving problem. “Every hour, on average, one person is killed; 20 others are injured,” she said. In May, the NTSB recommended a set of targeted interventions to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities from alcohol-impaired driving. Some of the interventions are focused on the “four million individuals who have admitted to driving after believing they have had too much to drink,” according to Hersman.
The Network and Public Health Law Research are partnering on a Public Health Law Tutorial at July’s NACCHO meeting in Dallas. The session will provide public health officials with insights, tools and resources for using research and law to strengthen policies and improve public health. Budget-strapped health departments will hear from a panel of experts about alternative tactics for addressing public health issues.
Excessive sodium consumption poses a tough challenge for public health. Researchers estimate that reducing American’s average daily sodium intake by 1,200 mg would prevent up to 92,000 deaths and save up to $24 billion in health care costs each year. The next Public Health Law webinar will address sodium reduction as a public health goal, provide insight on implementation issues from regulatory and voluntary reduction aspects, and discuss the successes and best practices that have resulted in notable sodium reduction measures. The webinar takes place on Thursday, July 18 at 1 p.m. ET.
The Tribal Public Health Law Resource Table lists organizations with experience in tribal public health law. The organizations are classified as epidemiology centers, academic, non-profit and public or legal services. The table provides contact information and highlights each organization’s focus area. This table has been recently updated to include even more organizations.
Maternal and Child Health issues are generating headlines lately and Network attorneys have assisted with a number of related legal requests. Two recent examples include expanded maternity care under the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of access to emergency contraception. The Network’s Corey Davis delves into both in his recent blog.
Over 131.8 million Americans live in areas where the air quality is at unhealthy levels. State and federal governments have enacted laws aimed at reducing air pollution and improving the air quality of the nation. But regulation becomes more challenging for some states when prevailing winds carry polluted air from neighboring states with less stringent air pollution laws.
The Network recently received a request from a public health official for training resources related to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The official was planning training for staff members who would be taking calls from the public on issues related to ACA implementation and asked if the Network could refer her to relevant materials. The Network provided several resources to the official. Additionally, a Network attorney will present on the ACA to the official’s staff on July 1.
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Two-thirds of Oregon school districts are substantially compliant with the current legal/statutory requirement of the Oregon Safe Schools Act. The Act, which was signed into law in 2009, works to strengthen anti-bullying laws for K-12 public schools in Oregon.
Georgia State University College of Law and its Center for Law, Health & Society are offering faculty fellowships in public health law education. Ten faculty members with full-time appointments in law schools or schools of public health will be selected to participate in a year-long program designed to foster innovations in educational programming and build a strong learning community among faculty who teach in the public health law field. Applications will open in early September. The fellowships are funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Shari Dawkins is a Network Graduate Law Fellow at the Public Health Law Center. A native New Yorker, Shari is a graduate of the J.D./M.P.H. program of Northeastern University School of Law and Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. Prior to joining the Public Health Law Center, Shari was a consultant attorney for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene where she responded to Freedom of Information Law requests of the Chronic Disease Prevention Unit’s sugar-sweetened beverage obesity campaign.
Shari is currently researching sodium reduction policies at the Public Health Law Center. She helped organize the July Public Health Law webinar exploring current efforts to reduce sodium intake in the U.S.
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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.