Network Report


Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being through Public Health Law

Across the United States, people are identifying mental health as an unmet need in their communities, and are beginning to devise strategies to promote mental health and well-being. Just as we have come to understand the role of the social determinants of health with respect to physical health, we have a growing awareness of the influence of social determinants of health on mental health.

Emergency Preparedness and Medical Countermeasures: FDA Emergency Use Authorization and Related Authorities Guidance Updates

Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to authorize emergency use of unapproved medical countermeasures during emergency circumstances to combat threats that involve chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear agents. On January 13, the FDA issued final guidance for industry and other stakeholders on EUA of Medical Products and Related Authorities.

Public Health Law News Round-up - January

Some of the public health law issues that made headlines in January include President Trump’s Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act, policy changes to help unpaid caregivers, a state’s proposed law that would classify homelessness as a medical condition, and the effectiveness of laws requiring breathalyzer ignition systems for DUI repeat offenders.


Legal Liability Protections for Emergency Medical/Public Health Responses

Liability protections have been put in place at both the state and local levels for different types of actors and entities involved in emergency response efforts. This table highlights those potential liability protections for individuals, including health care workers, volunteers and private sector employees, and entities, including government agencies, hospitals or healthcare facilities, non-profit organizations and for-profit organizations.


Education as a Social Determinant of Health: The Role of Laws and Policies

Schools are a key part of the physical and social environment in every community. In order to promote good health, education must be of high quality, accessible, safe and equitable. A whole-child model provides a framework for how to nurture the physical, social, emotional and intellectual development of children through collaboration between schools and community partners. The new federal Every Student Succeeds Act, as well as emerging legal and policy approaches at the state and local level, provide opportunities for schools and other educational programs to more fully engage with their communities and encourage the development of well-rounded students and citizens.  This webinar, co-sponsored by the Network and the CDC’s Public Health Law Program, will explore how the law can address education as a social determinant of health. The webinar takes place Thursday, February 23 at 1 p.m. E.T.

Ask a Network Attorney

Federal Laws Regarding Lobbying and Advocacy

Federal laws restrict the use of federal funds for lobbying activities. The Network was recently contacted by a public health officer asking for clarification on the distinction between lobbying and advocacy. Broadly, the use of federal funding cannot “…influence an officer or employee of any agency or Congressional member/staff regarding federal awards.” But a more accurate answer is more complex. The Network provided the public health officer with several additional resources to provide clarification on the issue.

Worth Sharing

Federal Communicable Disease Regulation: Balancing Civil Liberties and Public Health

Under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is authorized to detain, medically examine and release foreign and interstate travelers suspected of carrying a communicable disease. The CDC recently sought to modernize these regulations and in August, 2016 released a preliminary draft of a proposed rule change. Public commentary on this initial draft revealed concerns over balancing public health powers and personal freedoms. On January 19, 2017, the CDC published a final rule to enhance and clarify its capacity to prevent a communicable disease outbreak.  This article, in the Jurist, discusses the forthcoming new regulations.

Job Opportunities

Department Chair/Full Professor, Department of Community, Environment, and Policy

The University of Arizona’s Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health (MEZCOPH), accredited by the Commission on Education in Public Health (CEPH), invites applicants for the position of Department Chair, Department of Community, Environment, and Policy, (CEP) & Full Professor, Tenured (TE) or Tenure Track Eligible (TTE) in Health Services and Health Policy Research.

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