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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. 


As we think about Food and Nutrition on this last day of National Public Health Week 2023, our focus at CPHLR is on the ways our laws and policies support some of the most vulnerable in our communities: children.  


Today’s National Public Health Week focus is on violence prevention. National data show gun-related deaths are on the rise: in 2020, the U.S. was home to 19,384 homicides and 24,292 suicides involving guns. Those numbers are the highest documented levels in a decade. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death for US children and firearms are the most common weapon used in intimate partner homicides.


Happy National Public Health Week! 

Today’s National Public Health Week daily theme is Community. What better way to celebrate the public health law community than to introduce some of our staff. All the work done with and through the Center for Public Health Law Research supports the widespread adoption of scientific tools and methods for mapping and evaluating the impact of law on health. We’re so happy to introduce you to the people doing the research behind the scenes! 


By no means the first foray into gender identity-based discrimination, the legacy of North Carolina’s HB2 (2016) — known colloquially as the bathroom bill — is one we cannot shake. The law has since been repealed but was ultimately a turning point for what was possible in terms of legal action against the trans community. HB2 was particularly bothersome and ill-advised because of the legal mechanism it used to achieve its goals: preemption.


COVID-19 called for quick, decisive action by public health authorities to support communities and prevent infections. Since the pandemic began, legislators around the country have been acting to change the way authorities may respond to future public health emergencies — expanding or limiting officials’ authority to act in an emergency, changing who has authority to act, and the actions they may have the authority to take.


Are you interested in expanding your legal epidemiology and policy surveillance knowledge and skills this year? At the Center, we have many resources available to help you in exploring public health law research