The authors describe Five Essential Public Health Law Services and suggest investment in the people, methods and tools needed to move major policy initiatives from conception to widespread implementation. The model reflects a transdisciplinary approach integrating public health legal practice with law-related surveillance, evaluation and enforcement functions usually performed by public health practitioners. As an elaboration of law-related activities within the Ten Essential Public Health Services, the framework can be used to define, evaluate and strengthen public health law functions.
While prescription drug brand names can increase medication name recognition by patients and help differentiate products, they can also confuse patients and reduce appropriate use of generic drugs. Given increased pressure to reduce drug costs and use medicines safely and effectively, can the prescription drug naming system be improved?
This LawAtlas map offers details on whether a state has laws requiring access to free STD treatment services. It also includes whether the law prohibits a patient from being billed or whether a third party may be billed.
This LawAtlas map provides information about the states where health care professionals who provide free services are immune from civil liability, and whether the immunity is limited to state employees. It also provides information about how a provider could lose their immunity.
Zoning laws that mix residential units with commercial and public/civic destinations have the potential to increase walkability. This study finds that significant relationships exist between the range and precision with which the zoning ordinances have been written and the mixture of walking destinations that result within the areas.
This study finds that children in counties with unified family courts experienced shorter foster care spells and higher rates of reunification with parents or primary caregivers. Shorter foster care spells translated into improved school performance measured by end-of-grade reading and math test scores. Adult drug treatment courts were associated with lower probability of reunification with parents/primary caregivers.
Similar to the triaging of patients by health care workers, legal and public health professionals must prioritize and respond to issues of law and ethics in declared public health emergencies. As revealed by the 2009-2010 H1N1 influenza outbreak and other events, there are considerable inconsistencies among professionals regarding how to best approach these issues during a public health emergency.
This article serves as a call to action to achieve universal health agency accreditation within this decade. The authors identify the challenge, and offer strategies and opportunities for implementation.