PHLR at APHA 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

We'll be heading to Chicago from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, for the 143rd APHA Annual Meeting! If you're joining us there, or following along from afar, click below to find out what you can expect from the Public Health Law Research program.

Florida’s Pill Mill and Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs Reduce Opioid Prescriptions for Heaviest Users

Monday, August 17, 2015

Florida’s efforts to prevent inappropriate use of painkillers are showing reductions among prescribers and patients who had the highest prescribing and usage rates, according to a study out August 17, 2015 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

This study explored how the state’s laws worked to impact prescribing and use of painkillers from July 2010 through September 2012. Prescription painkillers commonly contain an opioid, such as oxycodone, and are sold under many different trade names.

All New York State Hospitals Now Fully Compliant with WHO Breastfeeding Recommendations

Thursday, July 30, 2015

All of New York’s hospitals have now implemented breastfeeding policies that support the World Health Organization recommendations, according to a new study published on July 30, 2015, in Preventing Chronic Disease

The study reviewed policies from all 129 NY hospitals providing maternity care services. In 2009, none were fully compliant, but by 2013, 97, or 75 percent of the hospitals had compliant hospital breastfeeding policies. And as of April 2014, all 129 hospitals in New York had a fully compliant, approved, written breastfeeding policy in place.

RWJF Commits $25 Million to Broaden Health Research

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced on May 19 the new direction for its Research-Evaluation-Learning Team (REL) under the Culture of Health vision, and research on laws, regulations, and policies is a key component. RWJF has committed roughly $25 million in new funding over the next three years for these three new programs, which will provide new funding opportunities for continued research of the policies, laws, system interventions, and community dynamics that improve health and well-being, with emphasis on sectors not typically associated with health, such as transportation and housing.

Webinar: Public Health Law and Policy Surveillance

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Policy surveillance is the ongoing, systematic collection, analysis, and dissemination of data about laws and policies. There is a long tradition of conducting “50 state surveys” to identify laws of public health significance, but the methods for creating these surveys are largely unscientific. Unlike this traditional legal research, policy surveillance uses systematic quantitative and qualitative coding to create scientific datasets and track policies over time. Throughout the past year the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Public Health Law Research program, the Network for Public Health Law, ChangeLab Solutions and the CDC Public Health Law Program have been exploring policy surveillance through a Delphi process and within their programs. This webinar will present the findings from that Delphi study and will explore the role of policy surveillance in understanding the impact of law on public health.

Webinar: Local Immigration Laws and their Impact on Hispanic/Latino Health

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Thursday, April 16 at 1 p.m. ET

Federal immigration enforcement policies have been increasingly delegated to state and local jurisdictions. This shift has resulted largely from the implementation of two federal initiatives: section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Secure Communities program. Some evidence suggests that both section 287(g) and the Secure Communities program contribute to Hispanic/Latino immigrants’ general mistrust of local law enforcement, as well as fear of utilizing a variety of public services and accessing health care services. This webinar will introduce new research investigating the impact these laws may have on access to care and how barriers created by immigration laws could impact health. Presenters will offer practical suggestions to help public health practitioners, health care providers and community workers address these barriers.

Primary Care Physicians Are Aware of Prescription Monitoring Programs, but Many Find Accessing Data Difficult and Time-Consuming

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A new study released on March 2, 2015, in Health Affairs reports that most primary care physicians are aware of prescription drug monitoring programs and have used the data in their practices, but do so only intermittently.

The study surveyed 420 physicians randomly identified through the American Medical Association’s Masterfile list. Of those physicians surveyed, 72 percent were aware of their state’s prescription drug monitoring program, and 53 percent reported that they had used the programs.

Webinar: Civil Commitment Laws and Population Health

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The role that civil commitment and involuntary hospitalization have played in providing mental health care has changed markedly since the middle of the 20th century. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have civil commitment laws that govern how and when an individual may be admitted to a psychiatric facility without their consent. This free webinar will explore civil commitment law through a public health lens, explaining why civil commitment is needed and where it comes from, the legal background and variations in civil commitment law and practice today, and the science and scientific challenges faced in practice. It will consider these issues as they relate to current national discussions of mental illness and violence, civil liberties, and an improved health care delivery system. Join us on Thursday, January 22 at 1 p.m. ET!

Local Enforcement of Federal Immigration Laws Impacted Hispanics/Latinos’ Prenatal Health

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A program that allowed states and localities to enforce federal immigration laws adversely impacted the use of pregnancy and childcare-related health services by Hispanics, according to a new study published on December 18, 2014 in the American Journal of Public Health.

The study, conducted in North Carolina, examined vital records data to understand the use of prenatal care by Hispanic/Latina women shortly before and after implementation of Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act in seven counties that signed on to participate in the program and seven counties that did not.