Health Law
Section Newsletter
Spring 2010


Message from the Chair - Ross Silverman


Welcome to the Spring 2010 edition of the APHA Health Law Special Primary Interest Group newsletter.

In one month's span this spring, the United States saw the beginnings of both historic victories and tragedies for the nation's public health. On March 23, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- sweeping legislation that promises to transform the United States health care insurance and delivery systems. 

Less than a month later, on April 20, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico, ushering in an environmental and economic disaster of unmeasurable scope.  How each of these paradigm-shifting events ultimately will unfold cannot accurately be predicted; however, it is clear that both sets of events had and will continue to have, at their core, critical questions surrounding the development, interpretation and enforcement of public health laws and regulations.

These issues and more will be part of the Health Law SPIG's panels at the 2010 APHA Annual Meeting, taking place Nov. 6-10, 2010 in Denver.  On our SPIG's website,, you will find preliminary information on SPIG-related events occurring at the Annual Meeting. Thank you once again to Program Chair Heather McCabe and to all of the SPIG members who reviewed and rated the myriad submissions the SPIG received and helped to craft this year's program.

Furthermore, we are proud to feature an outstanding analysis by Benjamin Mason Meier of how the Obama Administration is using law, foreign policy and principles of human rights to address issues of global health. Like the program panel information, the full piece is available on our website.

Should you wish to submit something for consideration for our website or for the Newsletter, please contact our communications chair, Jason A. Smith. Thank you again to Jason for all the work he has done to put together this newsletter and for getting the word out about our website.

I look forward to continuing the conversation online.

Be well,