Network Report

5/12/16

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Flint Water Crisis: Policy Measures to Address the Health Consequences of Lead Poisoning

In 2014 while under financial stress, Flint, Michigan changed its source of water to the Flint River in a cost-cutting measure. Subsequently, elevated lead levels were detected in Flint’s children leading to a public health crisis. While lead poisoning affects people of all ages, children and pregnant women with prolonged lead exposure are especially at risk for serious lifelong health and socioeconomic consequences. A number of legal and policy measures can help mitigate the effects of lead poisoning.

Protecting the Housing Rights of Domestic Violence Victims

In the United States, domestic violence will affect millions of individuals at some point in their lifetime. There is a strong connection between domestic violence and homelessness, and both homelessness and domestic violence victimization puts individuals at higher risk for poor physical and mental health. In response, many states have developed legal interventions to help protect the housing rights of domestic violence victims. 

Public Health Law Resource

Domestic Violence and Homelessness State Fact Sheets

Domestic violence includes physical, sexual, emotional and economic abuse, as well as stalking and controlling behaviors by a family or household member, and can also refer to intimate partner violence. Domestic violence impacts more than just the victim’s physical and psychological well-being, and there is a strong nexus between domestic violence and homelessness, which creates additional challenges. This series of Fact Sheets examines the relationship between domestic violence and homelessness, both nationally and in each of the 50 states and Washington D.C.

Upcoming Webinar

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 for Public Health Law, 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 11 p.m. ET.

Ask the Experts

Public Nuisance Laws and Public Health

A community in Wisconsin raised concerns about a brewpub that was emitting exhaust so foul that some neighbors were not able to use their back yards. The Network was asked if the problem with the exhaust could be considered a public health concern, and what laws might be relevant to the situation. The Network found that laws concerning public nuisance would be the most applicable to addressing this type of issue. Many states have public nuisance laws, but they vary in the specific definitions of what could be considered a public nuisance.

On the Network’s Must-Read List

Physician continuing education to reduce opioid misuse, abuse and overdose

The overprescribing of pain medicine is a major contributing factor to the opioid overdose epidemic in the United States. Most physicians receive little to no training during medical school regarding evidence-based prescribing, substance use disorders, and pain management, but some states require continuing medical education on these topics. This article examines the laws or regulations that mandate one-time or ongoing training on topics designed to reduce overdose risk, and provides recommendations for improved training.

Student Network

Career Paths in Public Health Law and Health Law

Join the Student Network on June 1 at 2 p.m. ET for a webinar that will provide students and young professionals with a better understanding of the evolving field of public health law, along with targeted strategies and practical advice on how to find jobs in the field. Two experienced professionals will discuss the relationship between public health law and health law, offer examples of opportunities in both the traditional public health law realm and in evolving areas of work, and provide tips on a number of career topics. 

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