Public Health Questions Answered

Public health officials, attorneys, policy-makers and advocates have reached out to the Network with requests for legal assistance. Below are some of these requests and the responses given by Network attorneys. To protect privacy, names are not included in the examples. In addition, the Network will not share an example if a requestor asks for his or her request to be withheld.

If you have a question, submit it here.

Do Vaccination Laws Apply to Private Schools?

posted on Wed, Nov 11 2015 11:22 am by The Network

State laws establish vaccination requirements for children attending public schools and often to those attending private schools. A requestor recently contacted the Network asking for clarification on the application of vaccination laws to private schools in Arizona.

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Texting as a Public Health Tool: Policies and Practice

posted on Wed, May 27 2015 9:07 am by The Network for Public Health Law

The Network was recently contacted by a local health department for information — specifically examples of policy and practice from other jurisdictions — on using text messaging to communicate on matters such as immunization and appointment reminders, emergency notifications, and client care.

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Prosecutorial Practices that Impact Public Health

posted on Mon, Mar 2 2015 3:34 pm by Mid-States Region

A public health advocate recently contacted the Network, concerned that a local prosecutor’s office was using possession of a condom as evidence of prostitution. The requestor was interested in working with the prosecutor’s office to change the practice and asked the Network if other areas of the country had faced similar issues.

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Mandatory Influenza Vaccination for Healthcare Workers

posted on Tue, Feb 17 2015 2:04 pm by Northern Region

A requester from a local health department recently contacted the Network asking whether there is any legal basis for mandatory flu vaccination for healthcare workers policies to be challenged.

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Requirements for Lock Box Use for Methadone

posted on Fri, Nov 21 2014 1:48 pm by Southeastern Region

The Network was recently contacted by a clinician in Colorado about state laws requiring the use of lock boxes for patients on methadone in licensed methadone treatment centers.

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Laws Impacting Use of Video Direct Observed Therapy for Tuberculosis Patients

posted on Wed, Aug 20 2014 1:53 pm by Western Region

Video direct observed therapy (VDOT) is a technique in which a medical professional observes a patient taking their treatment drugs remotely through video technology. The Network was recently contacted by a county public health department considering the practice as a way to care for tuberculosis patients. The health department wanted to know about laws that might impact the use of VDOT.

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Preventing a Pertussis Outbreak

posted on Tue, Jun 10 2014 1:55 pm by Mid-States Region

A local health department recently contacted its state health department for guidance regarding a nanny who was exposed to pertussis, or whooping cough, while providing child care for one family, then may have exposed a second family to the disease. The nanny refuses to identify the second family and the local health department is unable to take steps to stop the spread of the disease. The Network researched the issue and provided three options for the local health department to pursue in compelling the nanny to identify the family at risk.

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Legal Requirements and Services Available to Immigrant Populations

posted on Wed, Jan 22 2014 3:37 pm by Eastern Region

The Network was contacted by a city official in Maryland who wanted to know what medical housing services are available for immigrants – including undocumented individuals – in her state.

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Home Brewing and Bootlegging Alcohol

posted on Fri, Oct 4 2013 4:18 pm by Western Region

The Network was contacted by a public health practitioner working with a state to reform alcohol control laws to reduce alcohol abuse.

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Health Disparities

posted on Thu, Aug 1 2013 12:00 am by Mid-States Region

The Network received a request from a research center studying sexuality-related health disparities. The requester wanted information on how to use research information to develop an advocacy strategy that would effect legal change to benefit the health of LGBT youth.

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