Modernizing State Public Health Enabling Statutes to Reflect the Mission and Essential Services of Public Health

Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 112, 2009

9 Pages Posted: 26 Dec 2011

See all articles by Benjamin Mason Meier

Benjamin Mason Meier

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kristine M. Gebbie

CUNY Hunter College

Jacqueline Merrill

Columbia University

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

It is unclear whether efforts of the past decade to modernize state public health statutes have succeeded in codifying into state law the currently understood mission and essential services of public health. Although many state health agencies may be operating in a manner consistent with these principles, their codification in state law is crucial for the sustainability of agency efforts in disease prevention and health promotion. This research examines the 50 state public health enabling statutes for their correspondence with the 6 mission statements and the 10 essential services of public health described in Public Health in America. This analysis finds that modernization efforts have not been universally effective in ensuring that the legislative basis of public health is commensurate with the accepted scope of authority necessary to support health agency’s performance. Given the importance of law modernization in public health, this analysis highlights the importance of model statutory language in facilitating the codification of the mission and essential services of public health in state law. As a result, this research provides the practice community with a research base to facilitate statutory reform and develops a framework for future scholarship on the role of law as a determinant of the public’s health.

Keywords: essential services, mission, public health law, statutory modernization, Turning Point Model State Public Health Act

Suggested Citation

Meier, Benjamin Mason and Gebbie, Kristine M. and Merrill, Jacqueline, Modernizing State Public Health Enabling Statutes to Reflect the Mission and Essential Services of Public Health (2009). Journal of Public Health Management & Practice, Vol. 15, No. 2, p. 112, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1977078

Benjamin Mason Meier (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ( email )

CB 3435
103 Abernethy Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States
919-962-0542 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://bmeier.web.unc.edu/

Kristine M. Gebbie

CUNY Hunter College ( email )

695 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10065
United States

Jacqueline Merrill

Columbia University ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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