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Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2002
Contact: Media Relations (404) 639-3286

National Conference Brings Together Leaders in Public Health Law

Part of a national initiative to improve the use of law as a public health tool, public health leaders, policy makers and educators will join for a two-day conference June 18-19, 2002 in Atlanta. Co-sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics (ASLME), The Public's Health and the Law in the 21st Century: A Partnership Conference on Public Health Law provides a unique opportunity to engage in an open dialogue about a variety of pressing public health law questions.

Of particular importance, the conference offers several opportunities for discussion about the use of law to protect Americans from the potentially devastating impact of bioterrorism and other public health emergencies. Sessions will also cover the use of public health law in everyday, non-emergency situations.

Each plenary session identifies cutting-edge perspectives on the intersection of public health and law and applies science-based information about law to public health policymaking and practice. Highlights include a keynote address by Christine O. Gregoire, Washington State Attorney General, and lead negotiator for the settlement of state lawsuits against the tobacco industry; "The Future of Public Health Preparedness" led by former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn and moderated by CDC legal advisor Gene W. Matthews; and "How do We Translate Science into Public Health Policy and Law" moderated by James S. Marks, Director of CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Promotion.

Breakout sessions address specific, high-priority public health law topics including:

  • Land Use Planning: Why Public Health Must Be Involved
  • Child Immunization: Laws That Work
  • Fluoridation at 50: What Have We Learned?
  • Legal Preparedness for Bioterrorism
  • Graduated Licensing for Teens: Why Everybody's Doing it
  • On the Edge of Tomorrow: Fitting Genomics into Public Health Policy

Plenary sessions* at-a-glance

Tuesday June 18, 2002

9:00-10:30 am

>Plenary Panel: "Partners in Public Health Law: Elected Officials, Health Directors and Attorneys"

1:30-2:45 pm

Plenary Panel: "How Do We Translate Science into Public Health Policy and Law?" Moderated by James S. Marks, MD, MPH, Director, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, CDC


Banquet and Keynote Address by Christine O. Gregoire, Attorney General, Washington state

Wednesday June 19, 2002

8:45-10:15 am

Plenary Panel: "New Perspectives on Litigation and the Public's Health" Moderated by Peggy Rosenzweig, Wisconsin Senate, and Co-Chair, Reforming States Group

2:30-4:00 pm

Plenary Session: "The Future of Public Health Preparedness" Moderated by Gene W. Matthews, Legal Advisor to CDC with speaker Sam Nunn, Co-Chairman, Nuclear Threat Initiative and panelist Lawrence O. Gostin, principal author of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act.

* All plenary sessions will be webcast by the, a free service of the Kaiser Family Foundation. The webcast and transcript will be available at

The conference will be held at the Sheraton Colony Square Hotel, 188 14th Street, Atlanta, Georgia. For additional conference information and a complete conference program including description of the breakout sessions, please visit the CDC website at

Note to reporters: To attend the conference and/or arrange interviews with CDC public health law experts, media should call 404-639-3286.


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