Network Report



Current Issues in Public Health Law

Legal Changes to Increase Knowledge of Proper Prescriber Practices for Pain Medication

Physicians can play a key role in preventing, recognizing and treating substance abuse disorder (SUD), but according to a recent study, many physicians don’t follow recommended guidelines in prescribing pain medication and have limited confidence in the ability to recognize SUD due to knowledge gaps and lack of training. States are stepping in with legislation to address this issue.

Read more on legal changes to improve prescriber practices.

Cross-Jurisdictional Sharing and the Law

Cross-jurisdictional sharing (CJS) can be an effective way for public health agencies to address increasing demands for services with limited resources. For example, health departments in different jurisdictions can share laboratory or inspection services. CJS case studies from Michigan, New York and Nevada illustrate the integral role of law in such arrangements.

More on cross-jurisdictional sharing case studies.

Network Resources

Breastfeeding in the Workplace

Breastfeeding offers many health benefits for infants and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of infancy, followed by continued breastfeeding, as other foods are introduced, for at least one year. Mothers who return to work face barriers to breastfeeding, such as lack of space and time to express milk. Accommodating breastfeeding in the workplace benefits employers and the U.S. health care system. This new resource provides information on federal and state laws regarding breastfeeding in the U.S. workplace.

View/download the resource on breastfeeding in the workplace.


Today: The Court and Public Health Emergencies

During the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the courts played a critical role in deciding whether states could impose mandatory quarantines for aid workers returning to the U.S. Today’s webinar will focus on the judicial system’s role in a public health emergency, examining how a judge may approach quarantine and isolation hearings, and the subsequent issuing of orders. The webinar will take place at 1 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for “The Court and Public health Emergencies.”

April 16: Local Immigration Laws and their Impact on Hispanic/Latino Health

Federal immigration policies have been increasingly delegated to state and local jurisdictions. Some evidence suggests this shift has created barriers for the Hispanic/Latino population in accessing health care services. This webinar will introduce new research investigating the impact immigration laws have on access to care, and provide practical information and resources to help public health practitioners, health care providers and community workers understand the legal issues related to immigrant populations. Webinar will take place on Thursday, April 16 at 1 p.m. ET.

Learn more and register for Immigration Laws and Hispanic/Latino Health webinar.

Ask the Experts

Health Care Workers and Infectious Disease Response

A public health professional recently contacted the Network about how to respond to situations in which a health care worker (HCW) wishes to abdicate responsibility for care of an Ebola patient or any other patient with an infectious disease. While a HCW cannot be put directly in harm’s way, they are required to provide care where universal precautions eliminate potential risks of infection.

More on infectious disease response.

Public Health Law Research: Resources for Policy Surveillance

PHLR has been working in collaboration with the CDC's Office of State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, ChangeLab Solutions, the Network for Public Health Law, the Public Health Law Center, and many expert volunteers on a series of research and consultation projects intended to advance the understanding and practice of legal epidemiology at CDC and state, local and tribal health agencies, with special focus on policy surveillance. Resources developed in the first year of the project are now available.

Access policy surveillance resources here.

Opportunities in Public Health Law

Public Health Attorney Position at WHO

The World Health Organization’s Department for the Management of Noncommunicable Diseases, Disability, Violence and Injury Prevention (NVI) is seeking a public health attorney with a least five years of work experience to support its road safety program. The position is a one year appointment in Geneva, Switzerland. Application deadline is April 13.

Learn more about position and application process.

Writing Competition for Law Students

The Food and Drug Law Institute (FDLI) sponsors the H. Thomas Austern Memorial Writing Competitions to encourage law students interested in the areas of law that affect food, drugs, animal drugs, biologics, cosmetics, diagnostics, dietary supplements, medical devices and tobacco. Winning papers will be considered for publication in the Food and Drug Law Journal and receive cash prizes.

View details and submission guidelines.

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