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Legal Basis for Population Health

University of Michigan (through the Michigan Public Health Training Center)

Contact information
Robyn Nolan

Web site

This self-paced, online course covers public health laws in Michigan. Participants examine the legal basis of population health and how it shapes public health responsibilities. The course includes video presentations, readings, and exercises. It contains 5 parts:

  • Part 1: Nature, scope, and administration of public health authority in Michigan; legal basis for population health; and how to recognize legal issues, interpret legal documents, and communicate with attorneys.
  • Part 2: Laws and surveillance, outbreak investigations, and interventions under the Michigan Public Health Code.
  • Part 3: Expanding public health into new areas (such as genomics and the prevention of obesity, and domestic violence).
  • Part 4: Local, state, and federal aspects of environmental regulation.
  • Part 5: Legal issues involved in contracting with the private sector.


The course is designed for professionals in Michigan only. Participants may include state and local public health department staff, members of boards of health, county attorneys representing health departments, legislative staff, health system and health plan employees, and leaders in community-based organizations.


Self-paced, distance-learning course (about 15 hours).


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