Scott County, Indiana is in the midst of an HIV epidemic triggered by the sharing of syringes for injecting prescription opioids. As of April 17, there were 128 confirmed cases of HIV in the county with more expected. Indiana’s governor declared a public health emergency and temporarily legalized a syringe exchange program. But a number of issues are working against the preventive measures
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motorcycle helmets are proven to save lives and money, and helmet laws are the most effective way to ensure helmet use. Despite this, states have recently faced immense pressure from advocacy groups to repeal universal helmet laws. New Mexico recently proposed a bill that would allow motorcyclists to choose whether to wear a helmet and pay a smaller registration fee, or pay a larger fee to ride without a helmet.
Opioid overdose is at epidemic levels in the United States. States and localities have implemented a number of legal and regulatory interventions to address the epidemic. Good Samaritan laws which encourage overdose witnesses to summon emergency care, and laws allowing increased access to the overdose reversal drug naloxone can potentially save lives. This recently updated resource summarizes these laws in each state.
It's estimated that 25 percent of all school children in the U.S. have some type of vision problem significant enough to affect daily life. And despite the number of hospital-based newborn hearing screening programs, a significant number of kids with possible hearing loss are not receiving prompt diagnosis and treatment. The Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment benefit is a Medicaid program that offers low-income children a comprehensive array of preventive, diagnostic and treatment services. Our May 14 webinar will focus on the role of EPSDT in addressing children’s vision and hearing problems.
Opioid Overdose Prevention: Naloxone Access
Naloxone is a drug that inhibits the effects of opioids such as morphine and heroin and can be used to reverse an overdose. Many jurisdictions have begun permitting persons other than doctors — such as police or emergency medical technicians (EMTs) — to carry and administer naloxone despite its status as a prescription medication. The Network was recently contacted by a public health advocate in Michigan who asked if the state’s law regarding naloxone requires EMTs to carry naloxone when on the job.
Policy surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of data about laws and policies. In the past year, Public Health Law Research (PHLR) surveyed a Delphi panel of experts to define basic standards and practices in the conduct of policy surveillance. On May 6, PHLR will host a webinar to present the findings from that Delphi study and will explore the role of policy surveillance in understanding the impact of law on public health.
On May 1, the application period opens for the TeamWork: Leadership for Healthy States program. Teams will be chosen from six states to work on projects that strengthen relationships within and across branches of government, build understanding of population health issues, and open channels of communication and problem-solving that can be used to address future population health challenges.
Leslie Frey, J.D., M.P.H., is Staff Attorney at the Network’s Eastern Region. Leslie is a 2010 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where she earned a J.D. and a certificate in Health Law. After law school, Leslie attended the Drexel University School of Public Health where she completed an M.P.H. degree in 2013. Most recently, Leslie was a policy analyst at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, where she worked on policies and legislative issues for the Developmental Disabilities Administration.
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