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Health Law
Section Newsletter
Winter 2008

Welcome to the reintroduction of the Health Law SPIG Newsletter.

Chair:

Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH

rsilverman@siumed.edu

 

Editor:

Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, MPhil

bmm2102@columbia.edu

Message from the Chair

It is a pleasure to welcome readers to the Winter 2008 issue of the Health Law Special Primary Interest Group Newsletter.  I enjoyed having had an opportunity to see many long-standing and new Health Law SPIG members at the Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., last November.  Thank you to Program Chair Britnye Segraves of Boston University and Deputy Program Chair Heather McCabe of Indiana University-Indianapolis School of Law for leading the effort to put together an outstanding collection of panels for the Annual Meeting, and to all of the Health Law SPIG members who presented and moderated our sessions.  Heather McCabe is serving as this year’s program planner, and we look forward to an equally successful and enjoyable Annual Meeting in San Diego this October.

 

Our organization has seen a few significant developments over the past several months.  You may have noticed our name change: officially, we are now known as the Health Law Special Primary Interest Group, rather than the Health Law Forum.  This is a result of the APHA’s Task Force on Association Improvement and Reorganization (TFAIR) process.  Had our group remained a forum, it would have significantly diminished and diffused our voice within the APHA -- for example, a forum is not eligible to have representation on the Governing Council -- and drastically reduced the opportunity for our group to offer its own sessions at the Annual Meeting.  The group also has an unparalleled opportunity for growth:  APHA recently decided that members could hold dual memberships within multiple sections or SPIGs.  In the past, there were many APHA members who had a background in law or policy who, because of the Association’s “one member-one section” rule, were forced to choose between the Health Law SPIG and the public health area in which they practiced law.

 

In the coming months, we will be sending out invitations to APHA members with backgrounds in law and policy to join the SPIG.  It is my hope that, through such efforts, we can garner enough new members to allow our group to consider taking the next step and apply to become a Section.  More information about TFAIR can be found on the APHA Web site.

 

Thank you to Newsletter Editor Benjamin Mason Meier of Columbia University for the work he has done to revive the Health Law newsletter after a four year hiatus, and to make this issue a success.  As you will see below, the newsletter includes a robust section of announcements submitted by SPIG members of recent accomplishments and publications.  The issue also features an article written by Wilfredo Lopez discussing the use of law in public health efforts to address chronic disease.  It is our hope that this newsletter will help our members stay up to date with their colleagues in the field, and that it can provide a vital pathway to foster opportunities for collaboration and dialogue on critical issues of public health law.  The next newsletter issue will come out in the fall, and we encourage your comments and submissions.

 

All the best,

Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH

Chair, Health Law SPIG

2007 APHA Annual Meeting Highlights

Health Law SPIG

 

Research Rights and Policies

Organizer(s):Britnye T. Segraves, JD Moderator(s):George Annas, JD, MPH

How (& Why) to Reform US and Global Research Rules
George Annas, JD, MPH

What Constitutes "Benefit" to Subjects in International Research in Developing Countries?
Leonard H. Glantz, JD

Right to experimental therapies: FDA new drug approval, constitutional rights, and the public's health
Elizabeth A. Weeks, JD

 

Law and Policy Collaboratives for Public Health

Organizer(s):Britnye T. Segraves, JD Moderator(s):Heather McCabe

Public health law education: Critical competencies and communication in the field
Daniel J. O'Brien, JD, Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH

Using the law and lawyers to address the social and economic determinants of low-income children's health
Charity Scott, JD

From individual consumer problems to large-scale policy change: Highlighting the work of the Health Consumer Alliance in California
Lori Miller Nascimento, MPH

 

Public Health Law & Powers During Public Health Emergencies

Organizer(s):Britnye T. Segraves, JD Moderator(s):Heather McCabe

Public health powers during public health emergencies
Lance Gable, JD, MPH

Untapped potential: The legal powers and duties of local boards of health
Marnie L. Glaeberman, JD, MPH, Marie M. Fallon, MHSA, EdD (c)

Collaboration to protect health: Epidemics and the California Courts
Jessica Marie Nunez de Ybarra, MD, MPH, Peter A. Baldridge, Esq, Jennifer Buzick, Mark Starr, DVM, MPVM, Gilberto F. Chavez, MD, MPH

Legal preparedness for public health emergencies: Public health and the judiciary - partners in Pennsylvania
Patricia Sweeney, JD, MPH, RN, Elizabeth Ferrell Schmidt, Esquire

 

Health Insurance Reform

Organizer(s):Britnye T. Segraves, JD Moderator(s):Wendy K. Mariner, JD, LLM, MPH

Universal health insurance: The Massachusetts and California indvidual mandate model
Susan Adler Channick, JD, MPH

Health Care Reform at the county level
Peter Lowell Beilenson, MD, MPH

Social Solidarity vs Actuarial Fairness in Health Reform
Wendy K. Mariner, JD, LLM, MPH

 

The Human Right to Health

Organizer(s):Britnye T. Segraves, JD Moderator(s):Heather McCabe

Measuring progress in the realization of the international human right to health: The example of the United States
Eleanor Kinney, JD, MPH

Evolution of a human right to health: An incomplete success
Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, MPhil

Globalization, development and health: Realizing the right to health through the right to development
Ashley Fox, MA, Benjamin Mason Meier, JD, LLM, MPhil

Health Law in the News

 

The Use of Law in a Public Health Approach to Chronic Disease Control

Wilfredo Lopez, JD

General Counsel Emeritus of the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Counsel Emeritus to the NYC Board of Health

 

          In December of 2005, the New York City Board of Health (BOH) amended the NYC Health Code requiring clinical laboratories to report electronically to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) all laboratory results for Hemoglobin A1C tests, an index of blood sugar levels over the past 90 days, widely used to measure how well diabetes patients are maintaining control over their glucose levels.[i] The measure used a traditional tool of public health practice – mandated surveillance -- to improve the health of a population. Given the severity of the diabetes epidemic, with its tragic toll on morbidity and mortality, disparate impact on under-served populations, and the growing financial burden it places on society as a whole, public health had a duty to identify and implement measures that can reasonably be expected to improve health outcomes for patients and the public. By utilizing its inherent police power and clear legal authority to mandate the reporting of chronic diseases and individually identifiable information of both the patient and the patient’s health care provider[ii], and by providing “intervention” services to them, the DOHMH believed it could assist both to achieve this universal goal.

 

          The health department has the ability to analyze reported information in many ways to augment the services that are available to patients and providers. For example, in the manner of traditional epidemiological surveillance, it can use the data to identify service gaps and disparities, and better target resources on a macro or neighborhood level. In addition, it can assist individual practitioners by analyzing their particular patient cohorts and provide them up-to-date reports to facilitate more effective management of their panel of patients. Furthermore, the department can provide doctors with concise information regarding best practices. Importantly, on a voluntary basis, the department can link providers or their patients directly with ancillary services or supplies such as physical activity and nutrition counseling, low or no-cost medications, or glucose and blood pressure monitoring devices.

 

          The effort is an innovative way of utilizing law and the proven public health tools of surveillance and education against a chronic disease sorely in need of attention. Indeed, in New York State, health information and education services “directed at health professionals, target populations and the public” is specified as a basic public health service that local health departments are required to provide as a condition of receiving state aid.[iii]

 

            Notwithstanding its strong public health footing, the A1C registry initiative may overlap with the clinical quality improvement movement in that it does gather what might be viewed as outcome data for individual health care facilities or providers. However, the nuances of diabetes make A1C alone an insufficient tool by which to judge provider performance, impacted as it is by the use of A1C by some providers for screening, as well as many factors outside of the provider’s exclusive control. For example, the impact of the obesity epidemic with its associated lack of healthy eating and physical activity, and the key role of disciplined patient participation in the management of diabetes, also are important contributors to glycemic control.

 

            Concerns that a named chronic disease registry presents an unwarranted invasion of patient privacy are misplaced. The strict confidentiality language of the health code amendment requires that patient specific information be disclosed only to the patient (or the parents/legal guardians of a minor patient) or to the patient’s treating medical provider. It should also be noted that patients can easily opt out of the intervention altogether, including opting out of being contacted at all, or their provider being furnished their data, by the DOHMH.

 

            The NYC DOHMH and its Board of Health have continued to use public health law to control chronic disease. In 2006, in an effort to reduce cardiovascular disease, the Health Code was amended to restrict the use of trans fat in restaurants and other food service establishments.[iv] And, in a direct assault on the obesity epidemic that greatly contributes to many chronic diseases, on Jan. 22, 2008, after a prior provision had been struck down on narrow grounds by the federal court in 2007[v], the Board of Health adopted a provision requiring NYC restaurants that are part of a chain of 15 or more restaurants nationally to post calorie information on their menus and menu boards.[vi]

 

            The use of surveillance and education, and the exercise of regulatory authority over food service establishments, an industry traditionally regulated by public health at the local level, are but a few examples of how a public health approach can be applied to chronic disease control. The New York City initiatives can also serve as a clarion call to states and other localities, and local boards of health in particular, to utilize their considerable legal powers in innovative ways to mitigate morbidity and mortality – the core mandate of any health department. 

 

Acknowledgement: The author thanks Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH, NYC Commissioner of Health, and his senior staff, Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Dr. Lynn Silver and Dr. Thomas Farley, for their helpful comments.

 

References


[i] New York City Health Code §13.04 (24 RCNY §13.04).

[ii] See New City Charter §556(c)(2) and New York State Public Health Law §580(3).

[iii] New York State Health Department regulations (10 NYCRR §40-2.140).

[iv] New York City Health Code §81.08 (24 RCNY §81.08).

[v] New York State Restaurant Association v. New York City Board of Health, 509 F.Supp.2d 351 (S.D.N.Y. 2007).

[vi] New York City Health Code §81.50 (24 RCNY §81.50).

Institutional Changes

New Centers, Positions, Funded Projects, and Awards

 

APHA’s Center for Public Health Policy

In 2005, APHA created the Center for Public Health Policy to develop evidence-based policy materials in support of APHA’s three priorities: improving public health infrastructure, improving access to care and eliminating health disparities.  The Center, in its first two years, has developed a number of meaningful products, including fact sheets, issue briefs and reports.  Center staff provide policy analysis and guidance on a range of issues listed below.

* Tracy Kolian, MPH, senior health policy analyst, environmental health.

* Kristen Suthers, PhD, MPH, health policy analyst, health disparities.

* Michealle Carpenter, JD, health policy analyst, health care financing and access to care.

* Amanda Raziano, health policy analyst, environmental health.

* Kaitlin Sheedy, policy associate, food safety, nutrition and the convergence of animal and public health; works with APHA's state and regional Affiliates on various capacity-building activities, which includes providing assistance with policy-related materials.

For more information visit http://www.apha.org/advocacy/reports/ and www.apha.org/eph.

 

Centers for Law and the Public’s Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities

The Centers for Law and the Public’s Health: A Collaborative at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a CDC grant to serve as a “CDC Collaborating Center for Public Health Legal Preparedness,” beginning Oct. 1, 2007. This five-year award, made through CDC’s Public Health Law Program, supports the Center’s work to (1) develop information on public health legal preparedness through original research and analysis, (2) disseminate information to target audiences for their use in improving public health legal preparedness, and (3) develop and disseminate related training and learning materials.

 

Columbia University, Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health

The Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University announces the appointment of Ms. Janlori Golman to its faculty. Ms. Golman, an expert on health privacy, played a critical role in the shaping of HIPPA protections and earlier was involved in the crafting of the European Directive on Privacy.  At the Center she will join colleagues in mapping a broad international comparative analysis of privacy and public health surveillance. She will teach courses on health advocacy and health and human rights.

 

Columbia University, Center for Health Policy

The Columbia University Center for Health Policy has completed its evaluation of public health law modernization, “The Impact of the Turning Point Model State Public Health Act on State Legislative Reform,” and is beginning two new projects in public health law: “Examination of the Relationship Between Public Health Enabling Statutes and System Performance,” examining the relationship between the degree to which the statues enabling the public health agency reflect the essential services and the level of public health system performance, and “Collaborations in Public Health Law as It Relates to Oral Health Issues,” a three-year CDC collaborative documenting, analyzing and disseminating public health legal principles relating to improved oral health through community water fluoridation. Project summaries can be found at http://www.nursing.columbia.edu/chphsr/projects/law/public_health.html.

 

MayaTech Corporation

The MayaTech Corporation has announced the establishment of its Center for NanoSystems Technology Applications (NSTA). The Center is composed of resident legal and health policy professionals with an expertise in health law and regulation, bioethics and policy. NSTA staff will study relevant laws, administrative regulations, case law and legal scholarship on legal, regulatory, ethical and social implications of nanotechnology and its applications. For more information, please contact Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH, Center for Health Policy and Legislative Analysis and Health Law Special Interest Group Member at klowrey@mayatech.com or Dyneisha Felder, NSTA Science Monitor, at dfelder@mayatech.com.

 

O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

The O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law was recently established at Georgetown Law with a $10 million gift from Linda and Timothy O’Neill.  Led by Faculty Director Lawrence Gostin and Executive Director John Monahan, the Institute’s mission is to find innovative solutions for the most pressing health concerns facing the nation and the world through research, scholarship, and reflective engagement with partners in the public and private sectors.  Recent publications include a special symposium issue of the Georgetown Law Journal including health law articles by Georgetown Law faculty members David Vladeck, Tim Westmoreland and Lisa Heinzerling. The GLJ symposium issue features a keynote article by Dean Gostin entitled  “Meeting Basic Survival Needs for the World's Least Healthy People: Toward a Framework Convention on Global Health,” based on Dean Gostin’s inaugural lecture as the O’Neill Professor of Global Health Law.  For more information about O’Neill Institute faculty, publications and ongoing projects, please visit our new Web site at www.oneillinstitute.org.

 

University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security Developing  National Action Plan for Preparing Vulnerable Populations for Emergencies

The Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) is developing a National Action Plan for enhancing emergency preparedness for vulnerable populations.  The Plan is the product of a national conference CHHS hosted on Nov. 5-7, 2007 in Washington, D.C., with funding from the McCormick Tribune Foundation.  The conference brought together researchers, practitioners, and advocates to address the challenges of preparing vulnerable populations for disasters.  The Plan will be a consensus report of the recommendations made at the conference and will be published in Spring 2008.  For more information about CHHS’s work with vulnerable populations, visit http://www.umaryland.edu/healthsecurity/mtf_conference/index.html or e-mail CHHS at healthsecurity@umaryland.edu. 

 

Widener University

Thaddeus Mason Pope, currently visiting Widener University from the University of Memphis, will join the faculty of Widener University School of Law effective July 1, 2008.  Pope is continuing his research on end-of-life medical futility disputes, with new articles in the Tennessee Law Review, the Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, the Marquette Elder's Advisor, and the Mid-Atlantic Ethics Committee Newsletter.  He is also continuing his research on the justifiability of hard paternalistic public health measures where the state restricts primarily self-regarding, substantially voluntary individual conduct.

New Publications

Books, Articles, Reports, and Internet Resources

The CDC Public Health Law Program, the CDC Coordinating Office of Terrorism Preparedness and Emergency Response, and partners have issued the National Action Agenda for Public Health Legal Preparedness as a resource that public health officials, policy-makers, and partners may use in assessing and improving their jurisdictions’ legal preparedness for public health emergencies.  The Action Agenda was developed through the June 2007 National Summit on Public Health Legal Preparedness convened by CDC and 18 multidisciplinary partners to assess public health emergency legal preparedness, identify legal preparedness "best practices" and create a shared agenda for action to improve legal preparedness for public health emergencies. The summit was attended by 242 representatives from public health, emergency management, law enforcement, the judiciary, elective public office and other key sectors. The Action Agenda appears in a special supplement to volume 36 of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, published by the non-profit American Society for Law, Medicine & Ethics. The electronic edition is available on the CDC Public Health Law Program Web site at www.cdc.gov/phlp.

The World Bank Global HIV/AIDS Program and Human Development Network are pleased to announce their recent book publication, “Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform,” by Lance A. Gable, Katharina Gamharter, Lawrence O. Gostin, James G. Hodge, Jr., and Rudolph V. Van Puymbroeck. The book summarizes key legal and policy issues for 65 wide-ranging topics related to HIV/AIDS.  The Guide shows how laws and regulations can either underpin or undermine good public health programs and responsible personal behaviors.  It provides relevant "practice examples" (citing from actual laws and regulations) and offers selective lists of references.  The concise format is intended to be useful for policy-makers, HIV/AIDS practitioners, lawyers, the media and others seeking clear, precise information.

 

The Mailman School of Public Health is proud to announce the publication of Searching Eyes: Privacy, the State, and Disease Surveillance in America (University of California Press) by three faculty in the Center for History and Ethics of Public Health in the Department of Sociomedical Sciences. Authors Amy L. Fairchild, Ronald Bayer and James Colgrove provide the first history of public health surveillance in the United States. It spans more than a century of conflict and controversy as it moves from early debates over tuberculosis and venereal diseases to occupational exposures, birth defects, cancer, AIDS and the threats of bioterrorism. The practice of reporting the names of those with disease to health authorities inevitably poses questions about the interplay between the imperative to control threats to the public’s health and legal and ethical concerns about privacy. Searching Eyes situates the tension inherent in public health surveillance in a broad social and political context. The authors show how the changing meaning and significance of privacy have marked the politics and practice of surveillance since the end of the nineteenth century to the present.

 

Dean Lawrence Gostin received the Linda and Timothy O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law at Georgetown University, and became the faculty firector of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law. Dean Gostin’s new books are: "Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint" (U. Cal. Press, 2nd ed. 2008); "Public Health Ethics: Theory, Policy and Practice" (Oxford U. Press, 2007); "Biosecurity in the Global Age: Biological Weapons, Public Health, and the Rule of Law" (Stanford U. Press, 2008). He is working with the World Bank and WHO on global health governance based on his proposals in "Meeting Basic Survival Needs of the World's Least Healthy People: Toward a Framework Convention on Global Health," 96 Geo. L.J., available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=1014082.

 

Lance Gable, JD, MPH, assistant professor of law at Wayne State University Law Schoo,l has recently authored or co-authored several publications. In the book "Legal Aspects of HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Policy and Law Reform," he assesses and analyzes a wide array of laws and policies related to HIV/AIDS around the world (with co-authors Katharina Gamharter, Lawrence O. Gostin, James G. Hodge, Jr., and Rudolf V. Van Puymbroeck). The book is published by the World Bank. In the most recent issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, he has published "The Proliferation of Human Rights in Global Health Governance." Finally, he drafted (with James G. Hodge Jr. and Julie Samia Mair) “A CDC review of school laws and policies concerning child and adolescent health," which was recently published in the Journal of School Health.

 

NHeLP & NESRI - Human Rights Principles for Health Care Reform. A new assessment tool, developed by the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) and the National Economic and Social Rights Initiative (NESRI) and applied to the presidential candidates’ health care plans, reveals that none of the leading candidates have put forward health care plans that meet human rights standards. Candidates of both parties fall short of proposing workable solutions for reforming the health care system in a way that would ensure equal and comprehensive access to care for everyone -- a core requirement of the human right to health care. The assessment framework consists of a set of principles and criteria that are used to analyze candidates’ plans as well as popular health care reform ideas. Over the next two years, the Human Right to Health Program, run by NHeLP and NESRI, will continue to develop and refine this tool, and offer training to health advocates on the right to health care. The publication is available at http://www.healthlaw.org/library/item.176974; or contact Anja Rudiger at anja@nesri.org, (212) 285-1723.

 

Public Health Law Casebook, by Kenneth R. Wing, Wendy K. Mariner, George J. Annas & Daniel S. Strouse.  This new book of cases and materials on public health law includes introductory readings, first on the history and scope of public health, then on the basic constitutional principles governing the scope and limits of government power, followed by a series of case studies. Each case study chapter focuses on a set of public health problems and analyzes the legal and political parameters within which these problems can be addressed.

* Chapter 1:     An Introduction to Public Health in the United States

* Chapter 2:     Basic Constitutional Principles Applicable to the Exercise of State Authority Relating to Public Health

* Chapter 3:     Contagious Diseases: Quarantine and Other Liberty-Restricting Responses

* Chapter 4:     Public Health Surveillance and Medical Information Privacy

* Chapter 5:     Tobacco, Smoking, and the Public’s Health

* Chapter 6:     Health Promotion and Education: Encouraging Healthy Personal Behavior

* Chapter 7:     Firearms and Gun Control

* Chapter 8:     (Bio)Terrorism

Public Health Law is accompanied by a Teacher’s Manual, which includes suggested approaches to teaching the materials in different types of courses.

 

The American Civil Liberties Union has released its new report, Pandemic Preparedness: The Need for a Public Health - Not a Law Enforcement/National Security – Approach.  This report examines the relationship between civil liberties and public health in contemporary U.S. pandemic planning and makes a series of recommendations for developing a more effective, civil liberties-friendly approach: http://www.aclu.org/privacy/medical/33642pub20080114.html.

 

Lisa Forman, "Trade Rules, Intellectual Property and the Right to Health” (2007) 21:3  Ethics and International Affairs 33.  In perpetuating and exacerbating restricted access to essential medicines, current trade-related intellectual property rules on medicines may violate core human rights to health and medicines. In this light, there should be serious questions about their necessity, and their justification should be critically assessed from the perspective of human rights standards. These standards require that international trade rules on medicines be justified to the fullest extent possible, and permitted only to the extent to which they can be justified.  In this article I explore the impact of trade rules on medicines access, and the growing force of the human right to health. I argue that the limited justification for strong patents in poor countries suggests the need for significant reform of trade-related intellectual property rights. I argue further that human rights standards may offer both normative and practical tools for achieving this reform and challenging trade rules on medicines at various levels.

 

Jocelyn E. Getgen, "Reproductive Injustice: An Analysis of Nicaragua’s Complete Abortion Ban," Cornell International Law Journal (February 2008).  Unsafe abortion is both a preventable public health problem and a serious violation of women’s fundamental human rights, including their rights to life and health.  In recognition of the causes and consequences of unsafe abortion, an overwhelming majority of states have moved toward a liberalization of abortion laws and a decriminalization of abortion practices.  Despite these trends, a few states, including Nicaragua, have retrogressively enacted further restrictions on abortion and criminalized abortion practices even for therapeutic purposes.  This Note critically analyzes Nicaragua’s complete abortion ban in the context of pressing public health and human rights concerns surrounding unsafe abortion.  It argues that Nicaragua is countering prevailing international trends toward a liberalization of abortion laws.  Additionally, it finds that victims-survivors have viable reparations claims for harms suffered at international law and discusses possible barriers to success in receiving reparations for violations resulting from Nicaragua’s complete abortion ban.  http://organizations.lawschool.cornell.edu/ilj/.

 

Stephanie Nixon and Lisa Forman, “Exploring Synergies Between Human Rights and Public Health Ethics: A Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts,” forthcoming in BMC International Health and Human Rights. The fields of human rights and public health ethics are each concerned with promoting health and elucidating norms for action. To date, however, little has been written about the contribution that these two justificatory frameworks can make together. This article explores how a combined approach may make a more comprehensive contribution to resolving normative health issues and to advancing a normative framework for global health action than either approach made alone. We explore this synergy by first providing overviews of public health ethics and of international human rights law relevant to health and, second, by articulating complementarities between human rights and public health ethics.  In summary, we find that actors within the fields of public health, ethics and human rights can gain analytic tools by embracing the untapped potential for collaboration inherent in such a combined approach. 

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Conferences, Meetings, and Calls for Abstracts

 

Proposed APHA Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law

As part of APHA’s effort to enhance crosscutting activity among various APHA sections and SPIGs, work is under way to establish a new Forum on Built Environment Standards and Law.  APHA requires that at least 75 APHA members indicate an interest in being a member of such a Forum and, already, nearly this number have signed on, especially among those attending the APHA Annual Meeting in November.  Other interested members of the Health Law SPIG are now specifically invited to add their names in support of this new Forum as they are counted on for significant input to the work of the new Forum.  Interested members are asked to contact Forum organizer Jake Pauls at bldguse@aol.com to be put on the list of interested APHA members.  Simply send an e-mail to bldguse@aol.com with “Forum” in the subject line and, in the body of the e-mail, your full name and your state of residence/work (as shown in your APHA membership file). 

 

Celebrate National Public Health Week 2008 - "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance"

The health effects of climate change will take center stage during National Public Health Week, April 7-13, 2008. As part of the weeklong observance, themed "Climate Change: Our Health in the Balance,"  APHA will lead the charge in helping people, communities and families recognize that adapting to climate change and mitigating its impact is critical not just for the health of our planet, but for the health of the people in our nation and around the world.  Visit the official National Public Health Week Web site at www.nphw.org to check out the climate change blog and brochure, sign up to be a National Public health Week partner, or add your week's event to the national calendar.  For more information about National Public Health Week, contact kaitlin.sheedy@apha.org.

 

American University Health Law and Policy Institute

American University Washington College of Law announces the inaugural Summer Session Health Law and Policy Institute. This one-week program, which will be held from June 16-20, 2008, will provide JD and LLM students and health lawyers with intensive training in a broad spectrum of health law and policy topics.  Custom-developed courses taught by leading practitioners from private practice, academia, health care organizations, government, and non-governmental organizations will provide an intensive learning experience for participants. Academic and CLE credit will be available.  The Summer Session Health Law and Policy Institute is designed for legal professionals who are practicing or preparing to practice health care law, and offers training in theoretical and practical aspects of health law and policy.  WCL’s location in the nation’s capital also provides students with an opportunity to combine participation in the Institute with exciting externships or summer positions that will enrich their health care law experience. Completed Application and Fee Due: May 2. To inquire more about the program, receive an official brochure, or request an application, please contact: Corrine Parver, Esq., healthsummer@wcl.american.edu.

 

The Pike Conference 2008: The Future of Health Law

Sponsored by:  Boston University School of Law and Boston University

School of Public Health

Monday, March 24, 2008

Conference Auditorium, Boston University

For more information contact Martha Cassin, Department of Health Law, Bioethics & Human Rights, Boston University School of Public Health at cassin@bu.edu. 

 

Fifth Conference on Public Health, Law, & Obesity Sept.19 -21, 2008, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston. The Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) along with Public Health Law & Policy (PHLP) is sponsoring the 5th conference on public health, law and obesity.  Hear new ideas and work with colleagues to develop truly effective strategies that have a real impact on obesity at this agenda-setting conference.  Advocates, public health practitioners, legal scholars, researchers, and policy makers are invited to come together to discuss the current legal approaches to the obesity epidemic. The conference will help stakeholders collaborate in developing a public health legal strategy with a foundation in environmental change that empowers communities and populations to tackle the public health implications of a broken food system and built environment.  For more information: www.phaionline.org/obesityconference2008.