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OverviewLaw is a traditional public health tool
for disease prevention and health promotion. For many traditional
public health problems, both acute and chronic, the role of law has been
crucial in attaining public health goals, even rivaling the roles of
epidemiology and laboratory science. Many of the greatest
successes claimed by public health, such as high childhood immunization
rates, improved motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, and reduced tooth decay,
have relied heavily on law. In the past few years, law has played an
important role in the control of emerging health problems such as SARS and the
threat of pandemic influenza.
In 2000, CDC formally recognized the important role of law in public health
by establishing the CDC Public Health Law Program. We are located in the
Office of the Chief of Public Health Practice in the CDC Office of the Director.
Our mission is to improve the health of the public through law. Our
strategic goals are to:
- Develop the legal preparedness of the public
health system to address terrorism and other national public health
- Improve the understanding and use of law as a
public health tool, and
- Establish robust partnerships to join public health practitioners with
partners in key law-related sectors, such as elected officials and the legal and
law enforcement communities.
The program works to:
- Strengthen the competencies of public health
professionals, attorneys, and other practitioners to apply law to public
health; and increase the number of attorneys active in public health
- Support and conduct applied research in public
health law and translate findings into practice
- Provide consultation and analysis in public
health law to CDC programs and extramural constituents
- Establish partnerships among CDC and other
organizations active in public health law and assist in strengthening
their public health law capacity and expertise, and
- Develop and disseminate authoritative information on public health law to the
public health practice, policy, research, and education communities.
We collaborate with a growing number of colleagues in many disciplines.
These include public health policy makers and practitioners, elected officials,
attorneys in public health, health care, and related specialties, members of the
law enforcement, judicial, and emergency management communities, researchers,
educators, and many others. We also work with other CDC programs to help
them develop their capacity to use law in their work.
To contact us with your suggestions and
questions, please choose "Contact Us" from the PHLP Menu.