Network Report


Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

How State Tax Policy Can Help Feed the Hungry and Combat Global Warming

In the U.S., 42.2 million people lack access to adequate food due to insufficient income or other resources. Food insecurity is associated with a wide range of health issues including depression, anxiety, behavioral problems in children, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Conversely, it’s estimated that between 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. food supply is wasted. This waste, in turn, generates substantial greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Tax incentives for food donations could be one policy approach to address these issues.

Legal Issues in Policies Advanced to Hold Anti-vaccine Physicians Accountable

Despite overwhelming research in support of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended vaccination schedule, some physicians continue to advise patients against following the schedule, and some voice their criticism of vaccinations publicly. Such criticism can contribute to lower vaccination rates, which in turn increases the risk for the spread of vaccine preventable diseases. But policy options to address this issue are problematic.


Youth Sports Concussion Laws

According to the CDC, an estimated 248,418 children aged 19 or younger were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sports and recreation related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or traumatic brain injury. To date, every state and the District of Columbia have passed a sports concussion law. This table contains information on state concussion laws, including which states require return-to-play protocols for student athletes, which type of provider can issue a return-to-play clearance, and whether or not the law applies to recreational sports.

Public Health Law Leadership in Response to the Opioid Epidemic

The Network at the Forefront of Legal and Policy Work to Address Opioid Epidemic

As a national leader with extensive knowledge of proven and emerging legal interventions to prevent and treat overdose, the Network routinely assists government and health agencies at the local, tribal, state and federal levels, as well as clinicians, policymakers and advocates in integrating this knowledge into laws, policies and actions. As a result, the Network plays a key role in generating and distributing evidence-based knowledge and effective practices that protect and promote public health. 


Emergency Declarations to Address the Opioid Crisis – Assessing Impact and Identifying Gaps

Tuesday, September 19 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (ET)

The relentless toll of the opioid epidemic has prompted six states — Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Virginia — to declare formal states of emergency. In August the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that President Trump declare a national public emergency, which he promised to do. Among other powers, declaring a state of emergency allows states and localities to extend access to naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, and makes additional resources available to address the epidemic immediately. This webinar examines emergency declarations and their potential impact as well as possible drawbacks.

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Legal Efforts to Reduce Barriers to Accessing the Anti-overdose Medication Naloxone

Opioid overdoses are at epidemic levels in the United States, yet overdose mortality is preventable with the timely administration of naloxone and the provision of emergency medical care. However, naloxone is a prescription medication, making it difficult for the drug to be readily available by those who need it. A requestor reached out to the Network with questions regarding states’ efforts to reduce barriers to accessing naloxone.

Upcoming Events

Global Public Health Crises of the 21st Century: Achieving Global Health with Justice

Tuesday, September 26 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

This program features a keynote address by Professor Lawrence Gostin, internationally recognized legal scholar in global public health law. Professor Gostin will provide an overview of contemporary issues in global public health law including global public health crises of the 21st century, drawing on a framework of scholarship for achieving global health with justice. Speakers will address the implications of this scholarship for guiding policy concerning vulnerable populations and subgroups.


Internships available with the Center for Public Health Law Research

The Center for Public Health Law Research is accepting applications from law school students to fill three fall intern positions. One intern will work primarily with the Policy Surveillance Program, a second intern will work with the Policies for Action Research Hub on Housing and Equity, and the third intern will split their time between both projects.

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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.