Network Report


Current Issues in Public Health Law

Gonorrhea Screenings, the ACA and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Reported incidences of gonorrhea are on the rise and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention there has also been an emergence of multi-drug resistant strains. The Affordable Care Act provides an important opportunity to combat gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted infections by requiring new health insurance plans to cover screening and preventive services recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). But gonorrhea screenings are currently only recommended for women — this is problematic as gonorrhea disproportionately affects gay and bisexual men.

Read more on gonorrhea screening and the USPSTF.

Organic Farming and Food Safety

Organic produce is prevalent in many grocery stores these days as consumers seek healthier options, but the practice of using raw manure as fertilizer in organic farming raises concerns about foodborne illnesses from E. coli and other bacteria. Recent amendments in the Food Safety Modernization Act aim to decrease risk of bacterial contamination, but some in the industry feel the new requirements would conflict with existing federal requirements and severely restrict the use of raw manure in organic farming operations.

Read more about organic farming and food safety practices.

New Resource: Fact Sheet on Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law

Drug overdose is a nationwide epidemic that claims the lives of over 36,000 American each year. In Georgia, overdose deaths more than tripled from 1999 to 2013. The state recently passed the “Georgia 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law” which provides immunity for overdose victims and those who seek medical assistance for victims of overdose. The law also expands access to naloxone, which reverses the effects of an overdose. This fact sheet examines the law and its provisions.

Learn more about Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law.

Public Health Law Research: State Foodborne Illness Reporting Laws

Each year foodborne illnesses sicken an estimated 48 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. State foodborne illness laws regulate which illnesses need to be reported, the timeframe for reporting, and which agencies must then be informed of the illness and/or outbreak. A new Law Atlas map focuses on state laws relating to foodborne illness surveillance and outbreak response, including the reporting requirements for several of the most common foodborne diseases.

View the State Foodborne Illness Reporting Laws Map.

Upcoming Webinars

Medicaid 1115 Waivers: How Are They Transforming the Health System?

Medicaid 1115 waivers allow states to test new or existing ways to deliver and pay for health care services in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Attend this webinar to get an overview of 1115 Medicaid waivers, and hear case studies from Arkansas and Texas. The webinar is free and will take place on Thursday, June 19 at 1 p.m. (ET).

Learn more about the Medicaid 1115 Waivers webinar and register.

Taking on Tobacco Regulation: An Overview of New York City’s Tobacco Control Laws

This webinar examines New York City's Smoke-Free Air Act, along with more recent measures including prohibiting discounts for tobacco products, setting a minimum price for cigarettes, raising the age for purchase of tobacco products, and addressing electronic cigarettes. Webinar takes place on Friday, June 27 at 3 p.m. (ET).

Learn more about Tobacco Regulation webinar and register.

Ask the Experts:

Preventing a Pertussis Outbreak

A local health department recently contacted its state health department for guidance regarding a nanny who was exposed to pertussis, or whooping cough, while providing child care for one family, then may have exposed a second family to the disease. The nanny refuses to identify the second family and the local health department is unable to take steps to stop the spread of the disease. The Network researched the issue and provided three options for the local health department to pursue in compelling the nanny to identify the family at risk.

Read about the options the Network provided.

Opportunities in Public Health Law

Network Seeks Staff Attorney for Northern Region Office

The Network is seeking a staff attorney to join its Northern Region office in St. Paul, MN. This position provides technical assistance on specific issues of public health law, conducts training, develops legal resources and educational materials, and facilitates opportunities for networking and peer assistance. The attorney will work broadly in public health law, and be expected to develop expertise in specific topic areas. Apply by June 20.

Learn more about the Staff Attorney position.

Student Network Mentorship Program

The Student Network is now accepting applications for its 2014/2015 Mentorship Program, which pairs experienced public health law professionals with law and public health students across the country. Students will gain valuable insights beyond classroom education, learn more about the field, tap into new professional networks, and receive advice about job searching and resumes. Mentors will have the opportunity to share their passion for public health law, be a guiding influence for an emerging professional, and contribute to the growth of the public health law field. Contact the Student Network via email at for more information and to receive a link to the online application. Applications will be accepted until July 31, 2014. Please indicate in your email whether you are interested in being a mentor or mentee.

Leran more about the Mentorship Program.

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