Public health and the law are intertwined- and you can’t really be effective at developing public health policies and interventions without understanding how the law interfaces with public health.  We’re fortunate to have a fantastic local resource right here in Arizona.  The Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law Center for Law, Science & Innovation brings together scholars, practitioners, students, and others to focus on critical issues at the intersection of law, ethics, and the public’s health. They have a diverse group of faculty, scholars, fellows, and collaborative partners. 

 They leverage funds from the HHS and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to: 1) Conduct legal research and analysis in targeted areas relevant to public health through core projects on select public health law topics; 2) Work with international, federal, state, tribal, and local public health leaders to provide technical assistance on public health law and policy issues; 3) Develop innovative public health law tools and training/education materials; 4) Serve as an interactive resource for practical and scholarly information on public health law and ethics; and 5) Develop practice-based resources and other tools in public health preparedness and other topics. 

They’re putting together an October 6 event at ASU that will bring together leading public health officials, attorneys and practitioners across the 11 states of the Western Region of the Public Health Law Network to examine and discuss areas of law and policy.  Participants will have opportunities to provide their input on key public health law topics, build partnerships among colleagues across states and learn about core areas of legal technical assistance capacity.  You can check out more at their registration website.

The University of Washington has also posted an online training module on Practical Law for Public Health Officials. The objectives of this module include: recognizing legal issues; implementing effective strategies for working with legal counsel; and identifying key public health laws that govern leadership’s responsibilities, authority, and limitations. Click here to access the module.

Finally, the CDC has recently revamped their public health law resource website.  The site includes a variety of helpful public health law resources including opinions and statutes other states have provided or implemented.   The CDC Public Health Law News is another monthly e-mail digest of current, worldwide news stories, court opinions, announcements and special features related to public health law and legislation. The News is free and available to anyone with an interest in public health law.