2016 Public Health Law Conference

Leaders in Health Equity Plenary Session Announced

Many Americans experience poor health due to limited access to care, unsafe housing, lack of affordable nutritious food, and numerous other factors. How do we ensure everyone gets a fair chance to lead a healthy life? Moderated by Todd Zwillich, Washington Correspondent for the nationally distributed public radio show, The Takeaway, this session features Karen DeSalvo, Acting Assistant Secretary for Health with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, and Lawrence Gostin, Professor of Global Health Law and University Professor at Georgetown University. These national leaders will discuss their strategies for achieving health equity, sharing their specific approaches to addressing the factors that create barriers to positive health outcomes.

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

June Public Health Law News Roundup

Laws and policies at the local, state and federal levels aimed at protecting and improving population and community health made headlines last month. The stories that got our attention in June include new federal legislation giving the EPA more powers to regulate toxic substances; New York and Missouri’s laws to combat heroin and prescription drug addiction and overdose; and Philadelphia’s tax on sugary drinks, along with Minneapolis’ ordinance requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave. And, perhaps the biggest story in June: the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a sweeping Texas abortion law.


New: Every Student Succeeds Act Issue Brief

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act first passed in 1965, which first established the federal government’s role in U.S. education. The ESSA contains a number of provisions aimed at improving health, mental health and safety in America’s schools. The implementation process of ESSA over the next two years may provide opportunities for collaboration with education leaders for public health officials and advocates. This issue brief provides an overview of sections relevant to public health in the ESSA.

Updated: Legal Interventions to Reduce Overdose Mortality

It’s estimated that 15,000 deaths each year are caused by opioid overdose. These overdoses are typically reversible through the timely administration of the drug naloxone and the provision of emergency care. Many states have recently passed laws or amended older laws to increase access to emergency care for opiate overdose and protect those who assist a person experiencing an overdose. This resource provides information on laws that increase naloxone access and summarizes Good Samaritan laws in each state.

Upcoming Webinars

Exploring Social Determinants of Health through a Public Health Law Lens

The health of a population is affected by social circumstances and the inequities that pervade them. The law can perpetuate negative social determinants of health, but it can also remedy them by improving social conditions, leading to better population health. Public health law addresses these concerns in various ways from providing access to safer living conditions to prohibiting discrimination. Join us for a webinar on Thursday, July 14 at 1 p.m. ET that will explore how law can address social determinants of health, the ACA’s impact on health disparities, and the reduction of health disparities through increased recreational access.

Combating the Zika Virus: Mosquito-Control and the Law

To date, there have been no reports of locally acquired cases of Zika in the U.S.; however, travel associated cases have been reported in each state, and it’s increasingly important that jurisdictions most likely to have the Aedes species mosquito that transmits the virus to begin to plan and implement preparedness efforts early. This webinar on Thursday, July 21 at 2:30 p.m. (ET) will provide an update on legal and policy approaches used to address the Zika virus, both internationally and domestically, and will highlight ways in which emergency declarations and executive powers have been used historically to address mosquito-borne virus outbreaks. 

Ask the Experts

Health Information and Informed Consent

Public health surveillance is the ongoing systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of health and other data to inform public health efforts. The Network was recently contacted by a requestor from a state health department planning to conduct blood testing for health surveillance purposes. The requestor had several questions about informed consent related to the testing and associated questionnaires for participants, as well as retention and storage of the health information collected.

Public Health Law Fellowship Opportunity

Legal Fellow - Francis King Carey School of Law

The Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy (LRC), located at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, is seeking applicants for the position of Legal Fellow.  The Legal Fellow will provide legal assistance to state and local public health departments and other executive agencies, legislators, law enforcement, government attorneys, and judges and judicial staff in Maryland. Legal technical assistance and research efforts will center on tobacco control efforts in Maryland. The Legal Fellow will educate health, law enforcement and judicial officials, as well as tobacco retailers and tobacco retail associations on federal, state and local laws governing tobacco products.

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