Making the Case for Law that Improve Health: The Work of the Public Health Law Research National Program Office
Temple University - James E. Beasley School of Law
Evan D. Anderson
Center for Public Health Initiatives, University of Pennsylvania
March 2, 2011
No one who attended the 2010 national public health law conference hosted by the Public Health Law Association (PHLA) and the American Society of Law, Medicine, and Ethics (ASLME) could miss the sense of excitement and momentum. The revival of this annual public health law meeting, with the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the energetic leadership of the PHLA president and board, ASLME’s expert guidance, and a rousing address by Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), symbolize the continued commitment of a wide range of important individuals and institutions to the proposition that law is of substantial importance to public health. There is more than just symbolism to be excited about. RWJF has made a dramatic and farsighted commitment to building the field with an integrated program of support for the effective use of law in public health. This includes investments in exemplary programs like the Public Health Institute, the National Policy and Legal Analysis Network, Healthy Eating Research and Active Living Research, and the Public Health Law Network. This paper introduces the Public Health Law Research (PHLR) Program, another integral part of RWJF’s vision for improving public health through law. Public health law research, the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population health, builds the evidence base for public health law. This paper describes PHLR’s work in funding research and helping strengthen the quality and rigor of public health law research. It also discusses how this approach fits within the larger RWJF effort to put law to work in practice by working as allies with a wide community of health agencies and organizations.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 9
Date posted: March 5, 2011