The National Public Health Week theme for Saturday, April 8, is Accessibility. This broad issue seemingly touches every aspect of health. Not everyone in our communities have the same, equitable access to many of the basic determinants of health and well-being. Law and policy are crucial shapers of our environments, and play a profound role in creating and improving access or, unfortunately, establishing barriers.
Our work at CPHLR has included a number of research projects that look at how access to specific types of care may be supported or limited. This includes access to reproductive health, to life-saving treatments for substance use, to medication and treatment, and financial means to ease the burden.
Most recently, we’ve turned our attention to a higher-level issue that impacts all aspects of public health — the authority of public health officials in public health departments and other areas of government. Public health departments do a lot to keep people safe from man-made crises, natural disasters, and outbreaks of disease. But more than half of US states have passed legislation that will undermine public health now and in the future.
Act for Public Health is an initiative of the Public Health Law Partnership. This group of public health organizations and experts is applying their decades of experience in public health law and policy work to preserve public health authority and infrastructure wherever challenges arise.
It is essential to strengthen public health infrastructure to protect access to health care. We hope you’ll join us as we act for public health.