Network Report


Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

Cybersecurity Preparedness in Healthcare Organizations

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the health care industry is now the number one target for cyber attacks. Unauthorized access to health information impedes public health efforts. Understanding the role of cybersecurity is central to managing risks to both the health and public health sector. 

Public Health Law News Round-Up

Some of the public health law and policy stories that made headlines in June include regulation of locally produced food in Maine; safety and regulation of body art and tattoo facilities; tobacco use in rural America; the effectiveness of ‘baby boxes’ in improving safe sleep for newborns; mental health care and telemedicine; and medical-legal partnerships in health care.


Table: Exemptions from School Immunization Requirements

Requiring that students obtain recommended vaccinations prior to entering school is a powerful legal tool for ensuring adequate immunization rates. This resource provides information on the statutory and regulatory provisions with regard to school immunization requirements for 11 states in the Network’s Western Region. Laws that allow exemptions from mandatory primary (K-12) school immunization requirements for children on the basis of religious objection, and provisions for exemption on the basis of philosophical, personal belief, or conscience objection are listed for each state along with a link to each state’s immunization program website. Additional resources regarding vaccination law and policy are also available on the Network’s website.

Public Health Lawyer Directory

This online directory helps those in the public health community connect with lawyers who can provide legal technical assistance and other services. Users can search on a health topic and get a list of legal experts who can help with legal or policy questions. The Directory contains attorneys from the Network, the CDC Public Health Law Program, the Public Health Law Center, Public Health Law Research, ChangeLab Solutions, ASTHO and NACCHO, as well as a number of city and state health departments.   

Ask a Network Attorney

Pet Animals in Retail Food Facilities

A requestor in California recently asked the Network for information and resources on allowing pets in retail food facilities such as grocery stores and restaurants. The Network provided two resources with information on California’s health and safety code concerning pet animals and retail food outlets.

Year in Review

Empowering Public Health through Law

Last year Americans faced a variety of significant health challenges — the Flint water crisis and rising health disparities, the threat of Zika virus to pregnant women and their babies, and the relentless toll of the opioid epidemic. The Network played a critical role in helping public health respond effectively to these and other health issues, providing legal technical assistance, resources and information, and online training to thousands of public health professionals. The Network’s 2016 Year in Review outlines these efforts and includes a listing of key tools and resources for public health professionals.

Conferences and Meetings       

The Network at 2017 NACCHO Annual Meeting

The Network’s Mid-States Region Office Director, Denise Chrysler, is among the presenters at the 2017 NACCHO Annual Meeting, July 11-13 in Pittsburgh. Denise’s pre-conference workshop, “Health Information Data Sharing: HIPAA Facts and Fallacies,” will cover HIPAA basics, terminology and strategies to maximize access to and the exchange of health information while maintaining the public’s trust. Her workshop will be held Tuesday, July 11 at 8 a.m. The Network will also be among the exhibitors at the meeting. In keeping with NACCHO’s 2017 Annual Meeting theme, “Public Health Revolution: Bridging Clinical Medicine and Population Health,” the Network will have information on tools and resources designed to assist public health professionals in navigating legal and policy issues in health care that impact public health. Stop by the Network booth for information on these and other Network services.

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