Network Report
Thursday, May 9, 2019

The U.S. is experiencing its highest number of measles cases in 25 years. Cities and states across the U.S. have been challenged by efforts to contain the spread of this highly contagious disease. Some states have moved to prohibit all vaccine exemptions. Recently, New York City declared a state of emergency and ordered mandatory vaccinations. Join us to examine New York City’s emergency measures, public health’s authority in vaccination requirements, and current efforts to make legislative changes in under-immunized states.

 

Law and Policy Perspectives:

The Debate over Air Safety and Children: What the Law Says About Car Seats on Planes

While the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allows children under the age of two to travel in an airplane seated on an adult’s lap, they contend that the safest place for a child on an airplane is in a government-approved child safety restraint system or device, like a car seat. Despite laws allowing the use of certain car seats on aircraft, airlines are able to establish their own policies, and there is significant confusion among their personnel about what seats can be used.

 
Access to Oral Health Care in the U.S. Remains an Issue, but Innovative Workforce Approaches Can Help

Despite progress in improving the nation’s oral health in recent decades, significant disparities still exist. People from rural communities, those with low incomes, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, and the elderly suffer disproportionately from tooth decay and gum disease and are less likely to visit a dentist than other Americans. Direct access laws and policies that authorize dental hygienists to provide oral health services in community-based settings, without the presence of a dentist, can bring important oral health care to underserved communities.

Resource:

State Laws and Regulations Addressing Fluoridation in Water

Research studies have proven the safety and benefits of fluoride, which keeps teeth strong and reduces cavities. Community water fluoridation is recommended by nearly all public health, medical and dental organizations. This resource provides a summary of the laws and regulations regarding fluoridation in water in each of the 50 U.S. states.

Webinar:

Data Sharing Strategies to Advance Health Equity

May 16, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST

How can data be used to identify the social determinants that directly impact health outcomes in a community? Join us to examine how a modern information infrastructure, built with health and non-health data that are locally relevant, is critical to both public health and its community partners to increase health equity. Attend this webinar to learn how public health may more widely use de-identification to make more timely, reliable, sub-county and actionable data available.

Announcements:

Network Partners with All In: Data for Community Health

The Network is excited to announce that we are now a partner with All In: Data for Community Health. Through this partnership, we will develop resources and tools to help advance health data sharing across sectors, including the recently released Legal Bibliography for data sharing. All In partners represent multi-sector organizations working to improve community health outcomes through data sharing. If you’re part of a local collaboration working to share data across sectors, All In can connect you with tools, resources and expertise.

Worth Sharing:

Call for Proposals: Rural Learning & Coordinating Center Advancing Health Equity Through Social & Economic Opportunity

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF)  Healthy Communities theme is interested in identifying and funding a Rural Learning and Coordinating Center to work alongside RWJF, rural communities, and others in the field committed to improving rural health equity and well-being. The Center will provide systematic learning and coordination across those working regionally and nationally to advance social and economic conditions in rural communities. The application deadline is May 22, 2019.

Webinar: Exploring Policy Surveillance for Policymaking
May 14, 2019, 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST

This Center for Public Health Law Research webinar will examine the use of policy surveillance and other scientific legal mapping methods and data used in practice. Attendees will hear applications of policy surveillance in practice, and how policy surveillance may have made a difference in making, implementing and evaluating policy and the policy's impact on health.

Thank You!

Your interest in the work of the Network is important. Together, we can advance law as a tool to improve public health. Please forward the Network Report and encourage others to join the Network!

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.