Using Law, Policy and Research to Improve the Public's Health

From smoke-free regulations in restaurants and bars, food safety and menu labeling to air bag requirements for cars, laws can increasingly help create healthier, safer communities. As a result, those vested in public health—from local, state, federal, and tribal officials to public health practitioners, policy-makers and advocates—have an increasing need for specialized legal expertise to help them develop, implement and enforce laws that help solve public health problems.

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Network for Public Health Law is available as of September 20, 2010, to provide guidance to professionals grappling with complex public health challenges that may warrant legal and policy solutions.

The Network will provide legal technical assistance on many public health topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Cross-border public health
  • Emergency legal preparedness and response
  • Environmental public health
  • Food safety
  • Health reform
  • Health information data sharing
  • Injury prevention and safety
  • Public health agency accreditation and regionalization
  • Public health statutes and regulatory information
  • Tobacco control
  • Tribal public health

The Network includes five regional centers serving the United States at the following academic institutions:

  • The Public Health Law Center at William Mitchell College of Law (which also serves as the National Coordinating Center for the Network)
  • The University of Maryland School of Law working with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • North Carolina Institute for Public Health at UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health working with the National Health Law Program
  • Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University working with the University of New Mexico School of Law.

Learn more about the Network for Public Health Law. View a video interview with Dan Stier, director of the Public Health Law Network-National Coordinating Center, at upper right.