Network Report

6/9/16

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

No Report Card for the Efficacy of Gun Education in Schools

Gun violence in the United States is a catastrophic public health problem. Homicide with a firearm is the second leading cause of injury and death for ages 15-24, and suicide with a firearm is the fourth leading cause of injury and death for that age group. One potential viable public health measure entails firearm education in public schools, and several states have enacted laws to allow or require schools to include firearm safety in their curriculum.

Resources

Primer: Emergency Legal Preparedness Concerning Zika Virus

Several hundred cases of Zika infection have been reported across nearly all U.S. states. Our Primer outlines public health concerns underlying Zika virus and lays out current and anticipated legal preparedness and response issues internationally and in the U.S. These include issues related to testing and screening, public health preparedness, funding, mosquito abatement efforts, and reproductive health rights. This Primer is updated regularly as events develop.

Disclosure of Identifiable Information by the Veterans Health Administration for Public Health Purposes

Public health agencies collect and use identifiable health information for surveillance, disease investigation and other public health purposes. The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is an important source of data for public health activities. Health care facilities under the jurisdiction of the VHA are a significant component of health care services delivered to the United States population and should be included in public health related reporting and surveillance activities. This Issue Brief provides an overview of the statutes and requirements that permit, and in some cases require, VHA health facilities to release identifiable data, without the patient’s authorization, to public health agencies.

Updated Youth Sports Concussion Laws Table

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 248,418 children aged 19 or younger were treated in U.S. emergency departments for sports and recreation related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or traumatic brain injury. This Table contains important updates to state concussion laws, and includes information on return-to-play protocols for student athletes, as well as the types of care providers that can issue return-to-play clearances.

Webinars

Pursuing Health Equity: Promising Practices in Policy and Law

According to Healthy People 2020, health equity can be defined as the “attainment of the highest level of health for all people,” regardless of one’s race, gender, nationality, age, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status. Legal approaches and tools are increasingly becoming a means for maximizing equity. This webinar, co-sponsored by CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the Network, will focus on promising practices, based in law, to address health equity issues through drug abuse treatment and overdose prevention, Medical-Legal Partnerships, and interventions in domestic violence and homelessness.  The webinar will take place on Thursday, June 23 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Ask the Experts

States’ Laws and Regulations Related to Body Art

As the popularity of tattoos, piercings and other forms of body art grows, states and localities must continue to adjust their regulations to address associated health risks. The Network was recently contacted by a county health department for information about regulations in different jurisdictions that define, prohibit or allow more unusual forms of body art. The Network provided a number of resources on laws and regulations.

Must-Read

The 2014 Farm Bill and SNAP: Improving the Diets of Low-Income Americans?

Low-income Americans are disproportionately affected by diet-related illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. This recently published article from the University of Maryland Law Journal of Race, Religion, Gender and Class examines whether changes made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by the 2014 Farm Bill will lead to improved diets for low-income populations, and the ability of the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program to encourage SNAP beneficiaries to purchase fruits and vegetables.

Career Opportunities

Legal Research Associate Positions

The Policy Surveillance Program at Temple University seeks applications from lawyers and recent law-school graduates to fill several full-time Legal Research Associate positions. The Associate will conduct legal research, conceptualize the scope of legal research projects for emerging public health law topics, and collaborate with other staff members to perform other policy surveillance and research tasks as assigned. 

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