Research Results

Results from grant-funded research projects evaluating public health law issues.

Decisions, Science, and Values: Crafting Regulatory Alternatives Analysis

Emerging "prevention-based" approaches to chemical regulation seek to minimize the use of toxic chemicals by mandating or directly incentivizing the adoption of viable safer alternative chemicals or processes. California and Maine are beginning to implement such programs, requiring manufacturers of consumer products containing certain chemicals of concern to identify and evaluate potential safer alternatives. This article identifies an integrated set of design principles for regulatory alternatives analysis, and illustrates the application of those principles.

Implementing Legislation to Improve Hospital Support of Breastfeeding, New York State, 2009–2013

The study reviewed policies from all 129 NY hospitals providing maternity care services. In 2009, none were fully compliant with WHO recommendations, but by 2013, 97, or 75 percent of the hospitals had compliant hospital breastfeeding policies. And as of April 2014, all 129 hospitals in New York had a fully compliant, approved, written breastfeeding policy in place.

The Impact of Local Immigration Enforcement Policies on the Health of Immigrant Hispanics/Latinos in the United States

Section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allowed states and localities to enforce federal immigration laws. This study finds that the state-level enforcement of this law has had an adverse impact on the use of pregnancy and childcare-related health services by Hispanic and Latina women.

Legal Authority for Infectious Disease Reporting in the United States: Case Study of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic

Tracking of infectious diseases is a public health core function essential to disease prevention and control. Each state mandates reporting of certain infectious diseases to public health authorities. These laws vary by state, and the variation could affect the ability to collect critical information.

The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic served as a case study to examine the legal authority in the 50 states; Washington, DC; and New York City for mandatory infectious disease reporting, particularly for influenza and new or emerging infectious diseases.

Long-Term Changes in Crash Rates After Introduction of a Graduated Driver Licensing Decal Provision

New Jersey (NJ) implemented the first Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) decal provision in the U.S. in May 2010. An initial study reported a 1-year post-decal decrease in the crash rate among NJ intermediate drivers aged <21 years. Longer-term analysis is critical for policymakers in other states considering whether to implement a decal provision. This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, evaluates the longer-term (2-year) effect of NJ’s decal provision on overall and age-specific crash rates of young drivers with intermediate licenses.

Building the Evidence: Creating a Framework for Assessing Costs and Impacts of Shared Use Agreements

A team from the LA Department of Health analyzed 20 different documents broadly defined as “joint use agreements.” The findings are displayed in this report, which provides a snapshot of the relative strengths and weaknesses of all 20 agreements through analysis and case studies from neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area.

Evolution and Convergence of State Laws Governing Controlled Substance Prescription Monitoring Programs, 1998-2011

This study, published in the American Journal of Public Health, collected and characterized all statutes and regulations effective from 1998 through 2011 governing the operation of prescription monitoring programs. As of 2011, 10 states required PMPs to report suspicious activity to law enforcement, while only three required reporting to the patient’s physician. None required linkage to drug treatment or required all prescribers to review PMP data before prescribing. Few explicitly address data retention.

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