Network Report

4/28/2016

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Race, Sentencing Reform and the Opioid Epidemic

Lawmakers are considering criminal justice reform bills such as the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 which, among other things, reduces mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses. Evidence shows that treatment, not prison time, is the effective way to address drug addiction, and that there is a link between incarceration and the likelihood of opioid overdoses of former inmates soon after their release. But some advocates are concerned the bills won’t do enough to address disproportionate sentences and punishments for minorities.

April Public Health Law News Roundup

A number of major public health law and policy issues were in the news in April ― from paid family leave and elevated concerns about the Zika virus, to the Flint water crisis and a ban on chewing tobacco at sports venues, federal, state and local efforts were in the headlines. Read about a few of the more notable stories.

Resources

Domestic Violence and Homelessness Issue Brief

There is a strong nexus between domestic violence and homelessness, and both homelessness and domestic violence victimization put individuals at a higher risk for poor physical and mental health. Due to the complex safety needs and potential abuse faced by victims, traditional homeless shelters and temporary housing programs are frequently inadequate or unsafe. In response, many states have enacted laws to aid victims in securing or retaining safe housing solutions.

Domestic Violence and Homelessness 50-State Compilation

In the United States, domestic violence will detrimentally affect millions of individuals at some point in their lifetime. This 50-State Compilation summarizes state laws addressing housing rights of domestic violence victims, and indicates whether provisions cover aspects such as early lease termination, lock changes, and housing discrimination.

Webinars

The Flint Water Crisis: Lessons in Public Health, Law and Ethics

In 2014, Flint changed its source of water to the Flint River in a cost-cutting measure. Subsequently, elevated lead levels were detected in Flint's children. The effects of elevated lead will negatively impact the health of the community, especially its children, for years. This webinar, co-sponsored by the CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the Network, will examine emergency manager laws and the Safe Drinking Water Act, and explore the ethical considerations in protecting the health of communities in financial crisis. The webinar will take place on Wednesday, May 18 at 1 p.m. ET.

Ask the Experts

De-Identification of Protected Health Information under HIPAA Privacy Rule

Under the HIPAA Privacy Rule, health information that identifies an individual, or that can be used to identify an individual, is considered protected health information. Would failing to de-identify health care provider information be seen as a violation of privacy under the Privacy Rule?

Worth Sharing

State Health Access Reform Evaluation, Call for Proposals

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is launching a call for proposals to support research studying how states are implementing the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) health reforms to inform current implementation efforts and future policy. RWJF is looking to fund research that could tell us how the different ways states are implementing the law could affect the way people get health insurance and access care. Up to $1.3 million in funding will be awarded, with individual grants ranging from $50,000 to $150,000.

Policy Surveillance Summer Institute

Join the Policy Surveillance team at Temple University for this two-day intensive training in Philadelphia, PA. Participants will receive hands-on training from expert legal researchers and gain access to online tools for conducting research and visualizing policy across jurisdictions.

Combining Accreditation and Education: An Interdisciplinary Public Health Law Course 

In an article published in the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Micah L. Berman, J.D., discusses an interdisciplinary and community-engaged public health law course that was developed as part of the Future of Public Health Law Education faculty fellowship program. Law and public health students worked collaboratively to assist a local health department in preparing for the law-related aspects of Public Health Accreditation Board review.

Career Opportunity

Director, Healthy Eating and Active Living, Public Health Law Center

The Public Health Law Center, a public interest, non-profit affiliate of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul, Minnesota, seeks a program director to lead its efforts to improve the American diet and encourage physical activity. This position provides leadership to a team of experienced attorneys and policy analysts. Applicants must have admission to the bar and 7 years of experience in the practice of law (experience in public health or a related field is preferred but not required). Application deadline: May 10, 2016.

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