viernes, 19 de julio de 2013

CDC - July 2013 Edition - Public Health Law News - Public Health Law

CDC - July 2013 Edition - Public Health Law News - Public Health Law

July 2013 - CDC Public Health Law News

Public Health Law News Banner 
Thursday, July 18, 2013
From the Public Health Law Program,
Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


  1. The Health Insurance Marketplace opens October 1, 2013. The Marketplace is a new way to find health coverage that fits individual budgets and needs. Those using the Marketplace will be provided with tailored information about health insurance premiums and coverage options. Find more information about the Health Insurance MarketplaceExternal Web Site Icon.
  2. Webinar: Efforts, Challenges, and Successes of Policies to Reduce Sodium Intake in the U.S. Public Health Law ResearchExternal Web Site Icon and the American Society of Law, Medicine & EthicsExternal Web Site Icon will present this webinar on Thursday, July 18, 2013 from 1 to 2 p.m. (EDT). The webinar will address the importance of sodium reduction as a public health goal in the United States; highlight the regulatory and voluntary efforts of government and industry; describe implementation issues from the regulatory and voluntary aspects; discuss the unintended consequences of these efforts and the challenge in finding the best solutions; and discuss successes and best practices that have resulted in notable sodium reduction measures. Find more information and register for the webinarExternal Web Site Icon.
  3. Public Health Law Research opens 5th call for proposals. Public Health Law ResearchExternal Web Site Icon has released its fifth call for proposals. Approximately $1 million for short-term studies will be awarded, with eighteen-month awards of up to $150,000 for each study. The program seeks to build the evidence for and strengthen the use of regulatory, legal, and policy solutions to improve public health and help people lead healthier lives. The deadline for submitting full proposals is July 24, 2013, at 3 p.m. (EDT). Find more information about Public Health Law Research and proposal requirementsExternal Web Site Icon.
  4. 'PHLR: Theory and Methods' now available. Public Health Law ResearchExternal Web Site Icon has published a new book, "Public Health Law Research: Theory and Methods." It explores the mechanisms, theories, and models central to public health law research. The book covers framing public health law research, understanding how law influences the environment and behavior, identifying and measuring legal variables, and designing public health law evaluations. Find more information about Public Health Law ResearchExternal Web Site Icon and PHLR: Theory and MethodsExternal Web Site Icon.

Legal Tools

  1. Domestic and sexual violence screening toolkit. In February of 2013, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force issued new recommendations to support screening and response to intimate partner violence, also known as domestic violence, and recommended that health plans provide the service. The National Health Resource Center on Domestic ViolenceExternal Web Site Icon created this toolkit which offers health care providers and advocates for victims tools to prepare a clinical practice to address domestic and sexual violence. The toolkit includes screening instruments; sample scripts for providers; patient and provider education resources; and strategies for forging partnerships between health care and domestic and sexual violence programs. Find more information and access the toolkitExternal Web Site Icon.
  2. Community benefit state law profiles. The Hilltop InstituteExternal Web Site Icon has released Community Benefit State Law Profiles (Profiles) which present a comprehensive analysis of each state's community benefit landscape as defined by its laws, regulations, tax exemptions, and, in some cases, policies and activities of state executive agencies. The Profiles organize these state-level legal frameworks by the major categories of federal community benefit requirements found in § 9007 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), § 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code. Find more information and access the ProfilesExternal Web Site Icon.

Top Stories: The Fifty Nifty United States—Public health law news from every state

  1. Alabama: New law makes it a crime to threaten on-duty utility workersNew laws take effect todayExternal Web Site Icon
    Montgomery Adviser   (06/30/2013)   Phillip Rawls
  2. Alaska: No statutes of limitations on child pornography or human trafficking prosecutionNew laws take effect in Alaska on July 1External Web Site Icon   (06/30/2013)
    [Editor's Note: Find more information and read Alaska's SB 22External Web Site Icon.]
  3. Arizona: Appellate Court says convicted felons not required to pay for DNA testingState v. Reyes Adobe PDF file [PDF - 95KB]External Web Site Icon
    The Court of Appeals, State of Arizona, Division One
    Case No. 1 CA-CR 12-0163
    Decided 07/02/2013
    Opinion by Judge Maurice Portley
  4. Arkansas: Alcoholic Beverage Control Board writes wine shipping rules under new lawBoard at work on rules for shipping Arkansas wineExternal Web Site Icon
    San Francisco Gate   (07/06/2013)
    [Editor's note: Learn more about Arkansas's Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and read the Alcoholic Beverage Rules and RegulationsExternal Web Site Icon.]
  5. California: Duarte, California passes e-cigarette sale moratoriumE-cigarette technology smoking hot while cities struggle with regulationsExternal Web Site Icon
    San Gabriel Valley Tribune   (07/07/2013)   Sarah Favot
  6. Colorado: Potentially biased lab results could further backlog in drug prosecutionsDefense attorneys fear blood-test backlog during state lab suspensionExternal Web Site Icon
    Denver Post   (07/07/2013)   Jordan Steffen
  7. Connecticut: Emergency storm preparation measures without building permitNew laws help shoreline ownersExternal Web Site Icon
    Connecticut Post   (07/05/2013)   Michael P. Mayko
    [Find more information and read Connecticut Public Act No. 13-179External Web Site Icon.]
  8. Delaware: Child Victim Unit to unite justice and social services depts.Attorney general establishes special child abuse squadExternal Web Site Icon
    Delaware Online   (07/02/2013)   Terri Sanginiti
  9. Florida: Employees training to answer questions regarding insurance exchangeFlorida expects plenty of questions as health exchanges come onlineExternal Web Site Icon
    Tampa Bay Times   (07/05/2013)   Tia Mitchell
    [Find more information about the Health Insurance MarketplaceExternal Web Site Icon.]
  10. Georgia: Children still exposed to lead though paints banned almost forty years agoLead still causing health problems in north GeorgiaExternal Web Site Icon
    Dalton Daily Citizen   (07/01/2013)   Charles Oliver
    [Editor's note: Learn more about lead exposure and prevention.]
  11. Hawaii: Community Health Needs Assessment released, part of state-wide collaborationHawaii releases first statewide assessment of community health needsExternal Web Site Icon
    Pacific Business News   (07/03/2013)   Landess Kearns
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Hawaii's Community Health Needs AssessmentsExternal Web Site Icon.]
  12. Idaho: Sixty-six citations for texting while drivingIdaho marks 1-year ban on texting while drivingExternal Web Site Icon
    Idaho State Journal   (07/07/2013)
  13. Illinois: Law requires school shooting safety drills with local law enforcement
    Quinn signs bill requiring schools to hold shooting safety drillsExternal Web Site Icon
    Chicago Tribune   (07/01/2013)   Monique Garcia
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Illinois Public Act 098-0048External Web Site Icon.]
  14. Indiana: New rules and policy for isolating and restraining studentsStudent restraint rules changing in IndianaExternal Web Site Icon
    Indiana Star   (07/07/2013)   Eric Weddle
  15. Iowa: Forty-seven counties receive Presidential Disaster DeclarationIowa receives Presidential Disaster DeclarationExternal Web Site Icon
    Oskaloosa News   (07/02/2013) 
    [Editor's note: Find more information about the Presidential Disaster DeclarationExternal Web Site Icon.]
  16. Kansas: Over $300,000 to be refunded to state in prescription drug settlementKansas joins in national settlement with pharma companyExternal Web Site Icon
    Capital Journal   (07/03/2013)
  17. Kentucky: Stiffer penalties for human trafficking convictionsNew KY laws dealing with dropout age, religious beliefs take effect TuesdayExternal Web Site Icon   (06/24/2013)   Beth Musgrave
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read the new lawExternal Web Site Icon.]
  18. Louisiana: Bigamy and human trafficking added to racketeering law
    Jindal signs bill adding human trafficking, bigamy, to Louisiana racketeering lawsExternal Web Site Icon
    Bayou Buzz   (06/10/2013) 
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Louisiana Act 144External Web Site Icon.]
  19. Maine: Increased oversight and written standards for guardians ad litemGuardian ad litem reforms praised by supporters; LePage to sign bill MondayExternal Web Site Icon
    Bangor Daily News   (07/07/2013)   Judy Harrison
    [Editor's note: Find more information about Main LD 872External Web Site Icon.]
  20. Maryland: Residential smoke alarms to have long-life, sealed-in batteriesMaryland updates smoke alarm lawExternal Web Site Icon
    Herald Mail   (07/07/2013)   Holly Shok
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Maryland Senate Bill 969External Web Site Icon.]
  21. Massachusetts: Bill would allow employees to sue over workplace bullyingProposal in Mass. targets bullying at workExternal Web Site Icon   (06/24/2013) 
    [Editor's note: Read the Healthy Workplace BillExternal Web Site Icon.]
  22. Michigan: Law allows vintners to offer tastings at farmers markets 
    Snyder Oks wetland permit law, wine tasting at farmers marketsExternal Web Site Icon
    Lansing State Journal   (07/03/2013) 
    [Editor's note: Find more information about Michigan SB 0079External Web Site Icon.]
  23. Minnesota: Lawmakers concerned synthetic drugs straining healthcare systemLegislative panel on synthetic drugs to hold first hearingExternal Web Site Icon
    Minnesota Public Radio   (07/07/2013)   Rupa Shenoy
  24. Mississippi: State legalizes homebrewing alcohol, now legal in all fifty statesHomebrewing legal in all 50 states after Mississippi law takes effectExternal Web Site Icon
    Business Journal   (07/04/2013)   Jeff Engel
  25. Missouri: Law requires Pule Oximetry test before newborns discharged from hospitalChloe's Law to be signed by Gov. NixonExternal Web Site Icon
    CBS St. Louis   (07/08/2013)
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Chloe's LawExternal Web Site Icon.]
  26. Montana: Lowering legal alcohol limit may not discourage intoxicated drivingOfficials: Lower BAC limit will not lessen Montana's DUI problemExternal Web Site Icon
    Missoulian   (06/17/2013)   John Grant Emeigh
  27. Nebraska: State uses statewide emergency text system for Amber AlertFirst statewide use of cellphone text alert caught many by surpriseExternal Web Site Icon   (06/25/2013)   Paul Hammel
  28. Nevada: Hospital implements changes in wake of patient-dumping allegationsState completes review of improper patient discharges at Rawson-Neal Psychiatric HospitalExternal Web Site Icon
    Las Vegas Review Journal   (06/27/2013)   Yesenia Amaro
  29. New Hampshire: State of emergency declared after flooding in several countiesHassan declares state of emergency as heavy rain causes flooding in NHExternal Web Site Icon
    Concord Monitor   (07/03/2013)   Ben Leubsdorf
  30. New Jersey: Bill would ease access to medical marijuana for seriously ill childrenChristie still reluctant on making medical marijuana program more accessible to kidsExternal Web Site Icon   (07/03/2013)   Susan K. Livio
  31. New Mexico: $1 million federal grant to help provide medical care to uninsured childrenNew Mexico receiving $1M federal grant to enroll kids in health care programsExternal Web Site Icon
    The Republic   (07/03/2013)  
  32. New York: Bill allows pharmacist to give meningitis vaccinationLegislature approves bill allowing pharmacists to give meningitis vaccinationExternal Web Site IconNew York Times   (06/23/2013)   Anemona Hartocollis
    [Editor's note: Find more information about New York Senate Bill 4881-AExternal Web Site Icon
  33. North Carolina: 'Commonsense Consumption Act' would limit suits against food manufacturersNC Senate agrees to block food consumption suitsExternal Web Site Icon
    News and Record   (07/01/2013)
    [Editor's note: Find more information about the proposed Commonsense Consumption ActExternal Web Site Icon.]
  34. North Dakota: Law limits personal information from public motor vehicle crash reportsND public records bill a compromiseExternal Web Site Icon
    The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead   (07/05/2013)   Wendy Reuer
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read North Dakota Senate Bill No 2310External Web Site Icon.]
  35. Ohio: Bipartisan bill would ban teens' use of tanning beds
    Lawmakers looking to ban minors from using tanning bedsExternal Web Site Icon   (07/05/2013)   Brandon Blackwell
    [Editor's note: Find more information about Ohio House Bill 131External Web Site Icon.]
  36. Oklahoma: Prescription painkiller abuse linked to overdose deathsPainkiller overdose deaths grow among Oklahoma womenExternal Web Site Icon
    News OK   (07/02/2013)   Carmen Forman
  37. Oregon: More difficult for parents to opt out of vaccinations for non-medical reasonsOregon House approves bill tightening rules for parents who opt children out of immunizationsExternal Web Site Icon
    Oregon Live   (06/19/2013)   Yuxing Zheng
    [Editor's note: Find more information about and read Oregon Senate Bill 132 Adobe PDF file [PDF - 30KB]External Web Site Icon.]
  38. Pennsylvania: Court holds schools have no legal obligation to protect from bullying
    Morrow v. Blackhawk School District Adobe PDF file [PDF - 800KB]External Web Site Icon
    United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
    Case No. 11-2000
    Filed 06/05/2013
    Opinion by Chief Circuit Judge Theodore A. McKee
  39. Rhode Island: Defibrillator and CPR training graduation requirements under new law
    CPR skills now required to graduate RI high schoolsExternal Web Site Icon
    WPRI   (06/25/2013)
  40. South Carolina: Firework stand inspection law supported by owners as more consistent and safer
    SC fireworks law change improving safety, stand owners sayExternal Web Site Icon
    WBTW News 13   (07/04/2013)   Robert Kittle
  41. South Dakota: Young drivers with restricted licenses banned from using cellphones
    Three new laws in effect today: School sentinels, teen driving, new crime focusExternal Web Site Icon
    Argus Leader   (07/01/2013)
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read South Dakota Senate Bill 106External Web Site Icon.]
  42. Tennessee: Changes in evidence collection could lead to more DUI convictions 
    Tennessee to see more DUI convictionsExternal Web Site Icon
    Times Free Press   (07/02/2013)   Todd South
  43. Texas: Law gives state dental board more authority to investigate complaints 
    Texas law cracks down on unnecessary dental treatmentsExternal Web Site Icon   (06/27/2013)   David Heath
  44. Utah: Law bans smoking in cars with passengers under sixteen
    New laws kick in around US; here are Utah changesExternal Web Site Icon
    Bloomberg Businessweek   (07/01/2013)
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Utah HB13External Web Site Icon.]
  45. Vermont: New law allows beer shipments to private individuals 
    New laws for drivers, beer drinkers, and bird loversExternal Web Site Icon
    Burlington Free Press   (07/01/2013)   Nancy Remsen
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Vermont Bill H174 Adobe PDF file [PDF - 24KB]External Web Site Icon.]
  46. Virginia: Victim compensation fund rules questioned
    VA could revisit rules for victim compensation fundExternal Web Site Icon
    Times Dispatch   (07/08/2013)   Frank Green
  47. Washington: State grapples with image after recreational marijuana law
    State lets marijuana leaf logo looseExternal Web Site Icon
    News Tribune   (07/05/2013)   Jonathan Kaminsky
  48. West Virginia: Failure to wear seatbelt primary offense under new law 
    New seat belt law goes into effect in West Virginia on TuesdayExternal Web Site Icon
    WTRF 7   (07/08/2013) 
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read West Virginia HB 2018External Web Site Icon.]
  49. Wisconsin: Higher premiums for state workers who smoke vetoed
    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker vetoes tobacco surchargeExternal Web Site Icon
    Post Crescent   (07/01/2013)
  50. Wyoming: Last state to enact human trafficking laws 
    New Wyoming laws start Monday Text fileExternal Web Site Icon
    Wyoming News   (07/01/2013)   Trevor Brown
    [Editor's note: Find more information and read Wyoming House Bill 0133 Adobe PDF file [PDF - 47KB]External Web Site Icon.]
  51. International: World Health Organization convenes emergency MERS-CoV committee 
    WHO emergency committee prepares as Coronavirus MERS-CoV death toll risesExternal Web Site Icon
    Forextv   (07/05/2013)   Lisa Judd
    [Editor's note: Find more information about Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the 2013 Cornavirus Emergency Use Authorization (Potential Emergency)External Web Site Icon.

This Month's Feature Profiles in Public Health Law: Interview with Ellen Lawton, Co-Principal Investigator, National Center for Medical-Legal Partnerships at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services

Ellen Lawton

CDC Public Health Law News (PHLN): What sparked your interest in public health law?
Lawton: I've always worked in the public interest sector, even before I went to law school. For me, public health law represents one of the best ways to positively impact people in communities around the country.
PHLN: Please describe your career path to the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP).
Lawton: After law school, I clerked for a Massachusetts Appellate Court judge, which helped me realize that I really needed to work directly with people and not in a library researching case law!  From there I became a litigator at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, representing the state in child protection cases. I saw first-hand the horrendous effects of poverty and disparities on families and communities. I left that position in 1997 to work as one of the first attorneys at Boston Medical Center's medical-legal partnership (MLP). For me, it represented an incredible opportunity to use my legal skills to prevent some of the dire outcomes I witnessed in the child protection world. I became the MLP's director in 2001, and co-founded the National Center for Medical-Legal Partnership (NCMLP) in 2006.
PHLN: What is a medical-legal partnership and what forms can such a partnership take?
Lawton: One in six Americans live in poverty, and every single one of those individuals has some sort of civil legal problem that negatively impacts their health. But despite this health/law connection and the fact that civil legal aid offices and health care institutions have long treated the same patients or clients, there's never been a coordinated effort to address these problems, or to understand that many legal problems are health problems. That's where a MLP comes in.
An MLP is a healthcare delivery model that integrates legal care directly into patient health care, and uses three levels of legal interventions—at the patient, clinic, and policy levels—to address andpreventhealth-harming legal needs. Within every category of the social determinants of health, there are specific problems that cannot be addressed without the expertise of an attorney. There are families wrongfully denied food supports and educational benefits, necessary resources to meet their daily needs. There are children living in housing with mold or rodents, in clear violation of housing laws, whose physical environment makes them sick. And there are seniors being denied long-term care coverage they're entitled to, whose lack of access to insurance prevents them from getting the medical care they need.
While the core of every MLP is the same—an existing health care institution and an existing legal institution coming together to integrate their services and address these issues—one of the best parts of the model is its flexibility to respond to the local needs and resources of a particular community. More than 300 hospitals and health centers in the United States have developed MLPs in a range of healthcare settings, including rural and urban community health centers; disproportionate share and children's hospitals; veterans medical centers; and specialty care. They address the needs of children, families, veterans, chronically ill individuals, and the elderly.
PHLN: What are the origins of MLPs?
Lawton: The first MLP emerged from Boston Medical Center's pediatrics department in 1993 when the first lawyer was hired to help address housing conditions—such as mold and rodent infestations—that were negatively impacting child health, especially for kids with asthma. But there are many critical antecedents to MLP—examples where legal and health partners have come together over the years to address local issues related to the social determinants of health—like the provision of legal services in the care of HIV/AIDS patients in the 1980s. Dr. Jack Geiger, founder of the community health center model and a member of the NCMLP Advisory Council, speaks eloquently of an even earlier example, hiring a lawyer at the first community health center in Mississippi in the 1960s to handle discrimination and other legal issues that plagued the community.
PHLN: Can you give an example of how MLPs cooperate for patient/client care?
Lawton: MLPs provide patients three levels of legal care. First, at the individual level, when health care teams are trained to detect and manage legal problems related to health—such as the family who has been threatened with eviction for complaining about rodent infestation. Working together, the health and legal teams can ensure that landlords understand their responsibilities in addressing sanitary conditions, and hold them accountable for maintaining safe, healthy housing. The second level is legal care at the clinic level—building healthcare team capacity to address health-related legal problems through regular training, integration of screening and intervention tools into the electronic health record, and tracking patterns of legal issues that might benefit from policy intervention. And finally, at the policy level, where NCMLP medical director Dr. Megan Sandel talks about MLPs' ability to target failed policies with the twin expertise of lawyers and healthcare providers, for more effective policy advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels.
PHLN: Who benefits from MLPs and how?
Lawton: First and foremost, patient-clients benefit from the addition of legal expertise to the patient care team and from the elevation of healthcare provider voice in policy decisions and regulations. But the professions themselves benefit in big ways too. On the health care side, MLP builds capacity to handle patient legal needs, allowing healthcare team members to work at the top of their profession, rather than struggling to navigate complex government bureaucracies. Healthcare institutions benefit from a return on investment (documented through excellent research at Southern Illinois Healthcare Adobe PDF file [PDF - 812KB]External Web Site Icon) and by helping control costs for especially high users of healthcare resources. The civil legal aid community benefits from the ability to prevent legal problems, rather than simply react to legal problems that plague vulnerable communities, expanding their capacity to provide care.
PHLN: What is the NCMLP and how does it create and support MLPs?

Lawton: NCMLP is a project inside the George Washington University School of Public Health and Public Health Services' Department of Health Policy that leads research and policy activities to sustain and scale the MLP model of care and to align health, legal, corporate, and government partners to alleviate legal barriers to health and healthcare. NCMLP is funded by the Kresge and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations.
Between 1993 and 2005, the number of healthcare institutions with an MLP grew from one to almost 75. It was a grassroots movement with individuals hearing about the model and building partnerships in their communities. But the growing interest in MLPs and the need to promote the model consistently was a catalyst for developing the NCMLP in 2006.
Today, we develop and disseminate technical assistance materials and toolkits to emerging partnerships and promote learning across the nearly 300 program sites at our annual national summitExternal Web Site Icon and across social media platforms. We convene government and professional stakeholders on specific projects to integrate MLPs into existing healthcare strategies and innovations, such as emerging quality measures for chronic disease. And we work to develop consistent metrics for MLPs that can be used by the health and legal communities to measure the impact of their work.
PHLN: What role does public health data play in MLPs and why is it important?
Lawton: Interestingly, a number of the public health priorities in communities across the United States are responsive to, or ameliorated by, civil legal aid interventions alongside public health strategies, whether infant mortality, asthma rates, or the impact of chronic diseases on low-income populations. But the traditional civil legal aid community doesn't have the statistical and analytical capacity of the public health community, and struggles to track the prevalence of legal needs and the effectiveness of its interventions. At NCMLP, we believe that civil legal aid expertise and infrastructure could be more strategically deployed to greater impact if the civil legal aid community truly partnered and synchronized with the health and public health communities.
PHLN: How can this data improve public health more broadly?
Lawton: As the broader health community better understands and tracks the skills and impact of civil legal services, they'll begin to see that the chronic, pervasive underfunding of civil legal services at the federal and state levels compromises public health and can be a linchpin for improving community health. The field of social determinants of health has focused understandably on measuring and describing the baseline in communities. Increasingly, we see MLPs as one of the few solutions that leverages existing skilled resources to produce a multiplicity of positive impacts in the clinical and public health struggle to address the social determinants of health.
PHLN: As you look to the transformation of our health system, what do you think the future holds for MLPs?
Lawton: There's no question that the shifting of the health care landscape to expand both direct access to health care services, and support for prevention activities, provides an opportune time to integrate an innovation like MLPs. As the healthcare team broadens to include new members like patient navigators and community health workers, it's crucial to include skilled legal aid attorneys who can boost the impact and productivity of those new team members and address a unique subset of social determinants of health that no other profession can, all while having a correspondingly positive impact on the millions of vulnerable people who come into the legal aid system every year.

PHLN: What role do you see medical-legal partnerships playing in the emerging accountable care delivery model?
Lawton: There is no question that the accountable care delivery model creates substantial opportunities to draw in strong, impactful community resources like legal aid closer to the healthcare setting, and in the process creating accountability as well as more seamless access for vulnerable patients.  In the current landscape, patients who experience health-harming legal needs that are identified in a clinical setting that doesn't have an MLP must forge their own way, seeking out limited community legal resources that are not necessarily situated in close proximity to the health institution, nor are they experienced at interfacing with health care teams to achieve more effective cross-collaboration.  MLPs can change that dynamic, and ACOs create the perfect environment for MLP to flourish.
PHLN: Are you working on any exciting projects you would like to share?
Lawton: This is a really exciting time for NCMLP as our own growth is aligning with opportunities in health reform. The Division of Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) at the Department of Health and Human Services made an early investment in a small demonstration project to integrate MLPs with Healthy Start home visiting programs in three sites. The pilot was extremely successful, and we are poised to disseminate those findings and work with HRSA to expand their role in MLP.
At the same time, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has taken a real leadership role in HCMLP, and has already brought in some level of legal care into 38 of its medical centers, and has 4 active and several emerging MLPs. We’re in the early stages of working with them to develop evaluation metrics for VA-based MLPs. One of our lead funders, The Kresge Foundation, just invested in a multi-year project supporting MLP in nurse-managed health centers.
The private sector is also driving innovation in MLP. Some of our earliest and strongest leaders are in children's hospitals, and we're about to announce a learning network with a core group of children's hospitals that have strong MLP programs that's being backed by multiple corporate pro bono partners.
PHLN: If you weren't working in public health law, what would you likely be doing?
Lawton: I can't imagine not working in this field! If I weren't focused on MLPs, I think that I would work on changing the conversation in the United States about advanced care and end-of-life.
PHLN: Please describe any personal information, hobbies, or interests you care to share.
Lawton: I have two active boys so I need to keep in shape to keep up with them! We like tennis, swimming, biking, and camping. And my husband and I are avid comedy aficionados—Aziz Ansari and Jim Gaffigan are two favorites.
PHLN: Have you read any good books lately?
Lawton: I'm still recovering from the heart-stopping Gone Girl. Better still is the new TED book by my friend and colleague Dr. Rishi Manchanda, The Upstream Doctors—it's the ultimate public health manifesto!
PHLN: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Lawton: I'm often referred to as a goodwill ambassador for the legal profession, a title I wear proudly! I believe that the legal community in general, and the civil legal aid community specifically, has a terrific expertise to bring to the cause of clinical and public health. I look forward to the days when we have a more accessible common language and better understanding of our combined strengths.
[Editor's note: Find more information about medical-legal partnerships across the nationExternal Web Site Icon.]

Quotation of the Month: State Representative Terry Backer on Connecticut's new shoreline construction laws

"What we fail to understand is that we live on a moveable shoreline and have to design our plans for future changes. New Construction has to be vigilant as to how close to the water it can be," said Connecticut State Representative Terry Backer of Connecticut's new laws regarding coastline construction before and after storms.

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