On October 16 and 17, public health and legal experts, practitioners, policymakers and researchers from across the country will gather in Atlanta for the 2014 Public Health Law Conference. Designed for non-attorneys and attorneys, the conference will equip attendees with the knowledge and resources they need to use law as a tool improve public health. Federal, state, local and tribal public health officials and staff, as well as those working in non-governmental health organizations, are encouraged to attend to learn about legal solutions to some of today’s most pressing issues. Early-bird and student discounted registration rates are available until September 16.
Attendees of the 2014 Public Health Law Conference can choose from over 40 sessions and interactive workshops in five distinct tracks:
Prevention and the Role of Law
Prevention is a public health priority, and there are many ways that law can be used to improve preventive health measures. Sessions in this track examine e-cigarette regulation, prescription drug overdose, obesity, gun violence, health disparities and other critical issues in prevention.
Legal Interventions to Promote Public Health
Law and policy play an integral role in protecting the public’s health and encouraging healthy behaviors. Sessions in this track focus on population health, food marketing, implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Tribal environmental public health and other areas where legal strategies are used to promote health.
Data Management and Public Health Implications
Health data are essential to public health practice and research. Sessions in this track examine HIPAA data security standards, state public health confidentiality laws, vaccine policy surveillance, the use of newborn screening specimens and other issues in health data use and management.
Emerging Issues in Public Health Law
The public health landscape is constantly changing as new issues surface. Law and policy must keep pace. Sessions in this track explore advocacy in public health, health in all policies, marijuana regulation, legal approaches to climate change, active living policies and other emerging issues.
Public Health Legal Preparedness and Response
Public health officials face many critical legal and policy decisions when preparing for, and responding to, emergencies and disasters. Sessions in this track examine provisions in the Pandemic and All Hazards Preparedness Act, cross-border legal agreements, antiviral/drug distribution, legal lessons from Hurricane Sandy and current emergency preparedness concerns such as the Ebola outbreak.
September is National Preparedness Month, and for those in public health an understanding of emergency legal preparedness is crucial to planning and responding to natural disasters and other public health emergencies. Below are some of the Network’s resources in this area:
This resource provides an overview of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and how these and other countries in Europe and Asia, as well as the World Health Organization, are responding to stop the potential spread of the disease. The resource also examines emerging emergency legal preparedness issues in the U.S. as federal, state and local health officials consider measures to protect the public’s health in the event of the further spread of Ebola. Included are links to information on travel restrictions, emergency declarations, vaccine development, and isolation and quarantine measures.
This webinar examines the legal issues health department personnel and their attorneys may face regarding the protection of property and supplies during a public health emergency, including commandeering or closing facilities, limiting price gouging, procuring and reallocating supplies, and authorizing emergency countermeasures. Webinar is co-sponsored by the CDC's Public Health Law Program and takes place on Thursday, September 18 at 1 p.m. ET.
Crisis Standards of Care (CSC) is a systems framework developed by the Institute of Medicine to provide guidance to health officials in public health preparedness and response. This webinar will address issues related to CSC planning and discuss the relationship between ethics and law, including the role of formal emergency declarations, legal requirements related to vulnerable populations, and potential liability for public and private entities for failure to plan. Webinar is co-sponsored by the New York State Bar Association Public Health Committee and the Public Health Association of New York City, and takes place on Friday, September 26 at 3 p.m. ET.
Emergency laws generally present a menu of legal choices, often with little guidance for leaders making key decisions. The Emergency Legal Preparedness and Response section of the Network’s website provides an overview of primary legal issues related to public health emergencies, along with the latest resources and access to assistance.