Network Report

8-17-17

Public Health Law and Policy Perspectives

A Call for a National Emergency in Response to the Opioid Epidemic

Absent greater interventions, it is estimated that over 60,000 Americans will die in 2017 as a result of their opioid addiction. On July 31, the White House Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis issued its interim report and subsequently urged President Trump to declare a national state of emergency. Doing so could quickly change the legal and policy landscape for addressing the opioid epidemic.

Crafting Richer Messages: Moral Foundations Theory and Communication Strategies for Public Health

Effective messaging of public health issues and solutions is essential to public health practice and especially to developing public health laws and policies in a polarized political environment. The Moral Foundations Theory, which offers insight into six foundational intuitive moral values thought to underlie all human decision-making, can be applied to communications strategies to engage a broader base of support for public health efforts.

Resources

Issue Brief: Consent for Care and Confidential Health Information

Under the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), parents and guardians are typically treated as a minor patient’s personal representatives and are entitled to view and control a minor’s protected health information. However, there are exceptions. This issue brief summarizes the rights of minors in Michigan to consent to medical care without the consent or knowledge of their parents or guardians. Though the details of this document apply only to Michigan, the legal provisions likely have counterparts in other states.

Webinar

Health Information Data Sharing: HIPAA Facts and Fallacies

Wednesday, August 30 from 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. ET

Health care providers cite the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule to deny or limit access to patients’ private health information—sometimes appropriately, often not. This webinar will equip public health practitioners with HIPAA basics, terminology, myth busters and strategies to maximize access to and increase the exchange of health information while maintaining the public’s trust.

Ask a Network Attorney

Regulations on the use of Human Waste as a Fertilizer

A requester recently contacted the Network about how states regulate the use of human waste as a fertilizer. Both federal and state law allow for the use of human waste as an agricultural fertilizer, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted regulations that create a minimum national standard. However, states may institute their own systems that can be more restrictive and extensive than the EPA’s baseline.

Opportunities

Program Development Coordinator

The Network has an opening for a part-time Program Development Coordinator. This position is responsible for supporting program and fundraising activities for the Network. The Program Development Coordinator must have the ability to work collaboratively within project teams, and interact effectively with staff, leadership, consultants, members, funders and sponsors. This position provides project development, management and administrative support as assigned, and reports to the Program Manager.

Attorney with the California Department of Public Health

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Office of Legal Services (OLS) is seeking an attorney to support and represent the Department’s programs on a variety of matters. This is a permanent full-time Attorney III position on the Contracts and Prevention Services (CAPS) house counsel team, located in Sacramento. The deadline for applications is September 1, 2017.

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The Network for Public Health Law provides information and technical assistance on issues related to public health. The legal information and assistance provided in this document does not constitute legal advice or legal representation. For legal advice, readers should consult a lawyer in their state.