Expanding the Ability of Practitioners and Scholars to Assess Law as a Tool to Improve Public Health

Like their federal and state counterparts, local public health laws can serve a critical role in protecting population health. The goal of this project was to examine the breadth of local public health decision-making authority and describe how local public health ordinances fill gaps in or supplement existing state and federal public health ordinances. To achieve the overarching goal, we sought to provide an initial database of knowledge and local ordinances for existing and future research on local public health law and facilitate information sharing among those working at the local level to modernize and improve local public health law.

There are over 18,000 local jurisdictions (e.g., counties, cities, boroughs, special districts) in the United States, each of which may have some legal authority (albeit minimal in some cases) to regulate in the interests of protecting the public health.

These local jurisdictions have the ability to address local public health issues through law based on the extent of authority bestowed by the state. Through an ongoing study, Building the Base for a Research Agenda on Local Public Health Legal Authority, the authors have reviewed public health components and themes within local ordinances in 37selected municipalities of varying size and location. Diverse public health areas, partly dependent on the relationship between the state and local governance, are addressed at the local level.

Advancing Public Health Practice and Policy Solutions

  1. 1. Developing Policies to Address Oral Health Issues in California Schools
  2. 2. Developing a Community Scorecard to Chronicle Public Health Disparities in South Los Angeles
  3. 3. Developing a Model Program for Integrating Tribal Public Health into the Multijursidictional Public Health System for Infectious Diseases
  4. 4. Integrating Health Impact Assessments into the Federal Environmental Impact Process with a Focus on Alaska Native Communities
  5. 5. Voices for Change: A Social Action Campaign to Restore the Health and Safety of Residents of the Westside of San Bernardino County, California
  6. 6. Threats of Litigation Against Proposed Public Health Laws
  7. 7. Using Health Impact Assessment
  8. 8. Identifying Effective Catalysts for Action Toward Community Health Improvement in Underserved Communities in Wisconsin
  9. 9. Developing a Health Equity Toolbox for Health Practitioners to Advance Public Health Advocacy to Eliminate Health Disparities
  10. 10. Meta-Analysis of the Literature on the Effect of Alcohol Taxes/Prices on Drinking, Morbidity and Mortality
  11. 11. Using Biomonitoring and Air Monitoring in a Study at Tulare County to Implement a New California Public Health Law on Exposure to Environmental Toxicants
  12. 12. Advancing Health Equity by Institutionalizing the Role of Local Health Departments in Decisions Affecting the Built Environment
  13. 13. Expanding the Ability of Practitioners and Scholars to Assess Law as a Tool to Improve Public Health
  14. 14. Stronger Partnerships for Safer Food