Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to navigation Skip directly to page options Skip directly to site content

July 2018

Public Health Law News Banner

In This Edition


Job Opening: Chief Executive Officer, ChangeLab Solutions. Since its founding in 1997, ChangeLab Solutions has worked to change public health practice from primarily focusing on patient education and clinical care delivery to using a dynamic and intersectoral approach to policy, systems, and environmental change. The organization is now seeking a new CEO who can advance national leadership that builds the field of law and policy in addressing the social determinants of health and creating equity. The new CEO will bring 1) a proven record of success in driving law and policy change to promote the social determinants of health, 2) nuanced understanding of health equity and the drivers that determine the health of communities, and 3) strong organizational leadership experience to lead ChangeLab Solutions into its next phase of work. Applications, including a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, and your resume (in Word format), should be sent to

Health Justice: Empowering Public Health and Advancing Health Equity. The 2018 Public Health Law Conference will include more than 40 sessions exploring law and policy pathways to improving access to health care; protecting vulnerable populations against health risks and injury; developing protections against discriminatory practices; and strengthening efforts of local, tribal, and state public health agencies. The conference will be held October 4–6 in Phoenix, Arizona. Registration closes September 3.

Legal Tools

Issue Brief: Planning for Unaccompanied Minors in Shelter Operations

Minors (children and adolescents under 18 years of age) make up nearly a quarter of the US population, and they can easily become separated from their parents or guardians during a disaster. Shelters should be adequately prepared to receive, serve, and supervise unaccompanied minors until minors can be turned over to the proper authorities or parents/guardians. Care for minors includes adequate coordination with community partners, such as schools, and parents to ensure that individual and organizational plans are in place. This issue brief by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) provides local health departments with facts on managing operations.

The Public Health Learning Navigator is a streamlined and selective online resource developed by the Public Health Learning Network (PHLN) to connect public health professionals with engaging and interactive learning experiences, eliminating the time-consuming, and often unsuccessful, searches for quality training. The first 12 quality trainings have been identified through a structured peer review process using the Quality Standards for Training Design and Delivery and are now available. The Navigator is accepting nominations of other online trainings. Individuals may also sign up to become a Navigator reviewer.

Scope of Practice Policy: Map of State Policies is 50-state interactive map that looks at specific state profiles of legislation relating to nurse practitioners, physician assistants, dental hygienists, and dental therapists.

The Fifty Nifty!

Alabama: Suicides prompt new Alabama school anti-bullying law
ABC33/40   (07/16/2018)   Cynthia Gould
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Alabama’s Jamari Terrell Williams Act, preventing bullying, and suicide among youth.]

Alaska: ”Bree’s law” signed into the books
KTVA (07/11//2018)
[Editor’s note: Learn more about the Bree Moore Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Program [PDF – 587KB], which was signed into law July 11, 2018. Also, learn more about teen dating violence.]

Arizona: New judge to preside in case over inmate care in Arizona
The Associated Press  (06/27/2018)

Arkansas: Arkansas’ cannabusiness restarts after legal hiatus
Memphis Business Journal  (06/25/2018)  Elle Perry
[Editor’s note: Learn more about 2018 Ark. 224.]

California: California, of all places, has banned soda taxes. How a new industry strategy is succeeding.
The New York Times  (06/27/2018)  Anahad O’Connor, Margot Sanger-Katz
[Editor’s note: Learn more about CA Senate Bill 872.]

Colorado: State funds to support suicide prevention training in Colorado schools
Education Dive  (06/26/2018)  Linda Jacobson
[Editor’s note: Learn more about CO Senate Bill 18-272 and suicide risk and prevention [PDF – 107KB].]

Connecticut: New Connecticut law extends deadline for young immigrants
Greenfield Recorder  (07/04/2018)  Susan Haigh

Delaware: Delaware one of eight states chosen by the National Governors Association to participate in health care data initiative
Delaware News  (06/25/2018)
[Editor’s note: Learn more about National Governors Association health initiatives.]

Florida: Housing for Homeless creates opportunity for clients
Florida Today  (06/27/2018)  Maria Sonnenberg

Georgia: Georgia hands-free law: Nearly 1,000 tickets and warnings in 4 days
The Atlanta Journal Constitution  (07/06/2018)  Tyler Estep
[Editor’s note: Learn more about GA House Bill 673 [PDF – 23KB] and distracted driving.]

Hawaii: Hawaii becomes 1st state to ban sunscreens deemed harmful to coral reefs
AccuWeather  (07/05/2018)  Amanda Schmidt
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Hawaii senate Bill 2571.]

Idaho: Idaho agencies bracing for ‘interesting,’ ‘above-average’ wildfire season
Idaho Statesman  (06/27/2018)  Nicole Blanchard  

Illinois: Illinois to expand number of physician assistants allowed by law
Illinois News Room   (07/11/2018)   Steph Whiteside
[Editor’s note: Read Illinois Senate Bill 2904, which was sent to Governor Bruce Rauner on June 29, 2018, and would take effect January 1, 2019, if signed.

Indiana: Indiana’s farmers markets give a boost to small farmers
Daily Herald  (06/29/2018)  Emily Hopkins
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Indiana law and policy surrounding farmers’ markets.]

Iowa: When an Iowa family doctor takes on the opioid epidemic
The New York Times  (06/23/2018)  Abby Goodnough

Kansas: Federal prosecutors targeting violent crime in Wichita, Garden City
KCUR  (06/28/2018)  Evan Pflugradt   

Kentucky: Judge strikes down Kentucky Medicaid work requirements
The Wichita Eagle  (06/25/2018)  Amy Renee Leiker  

Louisiana: Here’s what you need to know about a new hazing law in Louisiana
4WWL  (06/26/2018)  Leigh Guidry
[Editor’s note: Learn more about LA House Bill 78.]

Maine: Legal age to buy tobacco in Maine raised to 21
WABI   (07/01/2018)
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Title 22 and youth and tobacco consumption.]

Maryland: President Trump grants federal disaster declaration after Maryland floods
Washington’s Top News  (06/25/2018)  Sarah Beth Hensley
[Editor’s note: Learn more about DR-4374.]

Massachusetts: Massachusetts poised to become the latest state offering a paid family leave program
The National Law Review  (06/25/2018)  Felicia S. O’Connor
[Editor’s note: Learn more about MA House Bill 4640.]

Michigan: Lawsuit: Flint water crisis hit jail inmates especially hard
Detroit Free Press  (06/26/2018)  Paul Egan

Minnesota: Home alone, but at what age? Minnesota largely leaves it up to parents
Inforum  (06/26/2018)  Emma Vatnsdal

Mississippi: New Mississippi laws target dogfighting, left-lane driving
News Channel 3   (07/02/2018)

Missouri: Missouri law banning truthful advertising on alcohol prices is found unconstitutional
Riverfront Times   (07/02/2018)   Sarah Fenske
[Editor’s note: Learn more about the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit opinion [PDF – 99KB].]

Montana: The public’s health: Teen vaccines important for developing immunity to disease
The Montana Standard  (06/25/2018)  Karen Sullivan   

Nebraska: New legislation allows self-driving vehicles on Nebraska roads
KETV  (06/25/2018)  Taylor Barth
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Legislative Bill 989 [PDF – 58KB].]

Nevada: Healthcare check-up: Nevada’s hospitals
Nevada Business  (07/01/2018)  Jennifer Rachel Baumer
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Nevada’s telemedicine laws.]

New Hampshire: NH police talk marijuana enforcement on the border with legal-pot states
Concord Monitor   (07/04/2018)   Jacob Dawson

New Jersey: New Jersey bans child marriages. New law raises minimum age to 18
New Jersey  (06/22/2018)  Susan K. Livio
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Assembly, No. 865 [PDF – 159KB].]

New Mexico: AG: New Mexico’s opioid case to be heard in New Mexico court
U.S. News  (06/13/2018)

New York: Court of Appeals holds flu vaccine mandate in NYC child care programs lawful
New York Law Journal  (06/28/2018)  Dan M. Clark
[Editor’s note: Read Garcia v. New York City Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene [PDF – 200KB], State of New York Court of Appeals, 06/28/2018.]

North Carolina: North Carolina Senate acts to limit law that allowed pork farm verdict
Press Herald  (06/07/2018)  Emery P. Dalesio
[Editor’s note: Read PHLP’s Menu of State Laws Regarding Odors Produced by Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations {PDF – 582KB] and learn more about environmental odors.]

North Dakota: “Life changing” for ND families impacted by autism
KFGO   (07/11/2018)   Amy Iler
[Editor’s note: Learn more about North Dakota’s requirement that health insurance policies cover autism spectrum disorder treatments.]

Ohio: Feds: fentanyl seized in Ohio bust could be 5 million fatal doses
Cincinnati Enquirer  (06/26/2018)  Sarah Brookbank  

Oklahoma: New gas, cigarette tax rates go into effect in Oklahoma
Beaumont Enterprise  (07/03/2018)   

Oregon: Oregon Health Authority to improve new coordinated care contracts
Oregon Public Broadcasting  (07/05/2018)  Kristian Foden-Vencil

Pennsylvania: Change in Pennsylvania fireworks law creates little impact for first responders
Herald Media  (07/05/2018)  Jennifer Finch
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Pennsylvania fireworks and explosives codes [PDF – 26KB].]

Rhode Island: Bill requiring RI insurers to cover mastectomies is signed into law
Go Local Prov  (07/04/2018) 
[Editor’s note: Learn more about H 7002 [PDF – 36KB].]

South Carolina:  12 changes in South Carolina law that go into effect July 2018
Greenville News   (07/07/2018)   Avery G. Wilks and Tom Barton

South Dakota: Nurses take on expanded roles to provide access to health care in rural, underserved areas
News-Medical Life Sciences  (07/04/2018) 
[Editor’s note: Learn more about public health opportunities in South Dakota registered nurse scope of practice laws.]

Tennessee: Nashville judge strikes down law that has revoked thousands of Tennessee driver’s licenses
Nashville Public Radio  (07/03/2018)  Chas Sisk
[Editor’s note: Learn more about motor vehicle safety. Also learn more about fundamental fairness principles discussed in the Principles on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices by the National Task Force on Fines, Fees, and Bail Practices.]

Texas: Some Texas clinics are meeting demand for mental health care services by multitasking
Dallas News  (07/05/2018)  Caroline Covington  

Utah:  Lawsuit to stop medical marijuana initiative dropped but could be refiled
Deseret News  (07/02/2018)  Ben Lockhart

Vermont: New Vermont law increases protection from sexual harassment
Associated Press (07/01/2018)  David Jordan
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Vermont’s H.707 (Act 183) [PDF – 116KB].]

Virginia: Two states officially mandate mental health education in schools
Fatherly  (06/19/2018)  Raz Robinson
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Virginia’s amendment to 22.1-207 and New York’s A3887B.]

Washington: New website allows Washington state residents to research health-care costs
Route Fifty  (06/28/2018)  Kate Elizabeth Queram
[Editor’s note: Learn more about HealthCareCompare.]

West Virginia: West Virginia city’s housing authority bans smoking
U.S. News  (07/03/2018)   

Wisconsin: Wisconsin to force parents to work for FoodShare, despite doubts about effectiveness
Post Crescent  (07/02/2018)  Dee J. Hall  

Wyoming: WHP: Keep driving carefully, and be aware of expanded ‘Move Over’ law this holiday week
Wyoming Business Report  (06/28/2018)  WBR staff
[Editor’s note: Learn more about Wyoming HB0036.]

District of Columbia: Drone regulations in U.S. withstand a hobbyist’s legal challenge
Bloomberg  (07/06/2018)  Alan Levin, Andrew M Harris
[Editor’s note: Read the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements for unmanned aircraft systems and drone safety tips.]

Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico storm evacuees spared from eviction: court order
Reuters  (07/03/2018)  Nate Raymond

Tribal: Tribal concerns may drive cattle off Colville allotment
Capital Press  (07/05/2018)  Don Jenkins
[Editor’s note: Learn more about American Indian and Alaska Native Hunting and Fishing Rights [PDF – 208KB].]

Profile in Public Health Law: Priscilla Keith, JD, MS

Photo: Priscilla Keith, JD, MS

Title: Executive Director of Community Benefit, Community Health Network, Inc.

Education: JD, Indiana University McKinney School of Law; MS in biology, Atlanta University; BS in biology, Spelman College

Public Health Law News (PHLN):Please describe your career path and what drew you to public health law.

Keith:After receiving my master’s degree in biology, I worked for Eli Lilly and Company for several years in research, corporate environmental affairs, and medical affairs. Once I received my law degree, I was chief counsel in the Advisory Section in the attorney general’s office and was assistant counsel for then Indiana Governor Frank O’Bannon. I began my career in public health law as general counsel for the Marion County Public Health Department in Indianapolis, Indiana, after leaving state government. I was general counsel for nine years. It was here that I honed my legal skills in public health law, because the department was and continues to be very robust and innovative in fulfilling its statutory and mission mandate. The director, Dr. Virginia Caine, was a great mentor in public health for me, as was the administrative staff. They guided me, allowed me to grow, and made me stretch myself by giving me public health projects that I probably would not have gotten to do somewhere else, simply because I was a lawyer. I love it.

PHLN:What is Community Health Network?

Keith:Community Health Network is a nonprofit integrated hospital system that consists of nine hospitals, which include a behavioral health pavilion as well as heart and vascular and rehabilitation hospitals. It has approximately 15,000 employees and 2,400 medical providers. Its primary areas of focus are oncology, behavioral health, maternity, school-based care, primary care, and cardiovascular services.

PHLN:Now that you’re working for a nonprofit community health organization, do you still consider yourself a public health lawyer?

Keith:Absolutely. I believe that once you become a public health lawyer, you remain one even if you move to another practice area. It becomes a part of you. I continue to view my work through a public health lens. How does this issue affect the public? What are the legal requirements? What is the public policy on this issue, or is there one?

PHLN:What do you do as the Community Health Network’s executive director of community benefit?

Keith:I provide leadership in helping the Network maintain its nonprofit status by ensuring compliance with its annual Community Benefit and Form 990, Schedule H, report. Hospitals can qualify for tax-exempt status if they provide services that are beneficial to their communities. This is known as the community benefit standard. The 990 Schedule H form provides the public with financial information about nonprofit hospitals. I also conduct the triennial community health needs assessment, track these activities, manage different community benefit programs, and work with the community on these programs. I am also responsible for the Serve360, the Network’s employee volunteer and engagement program, which is an excellent vehicle for employees to volunteer their time and talents to different community organizations.

PHLN:How do you use your law degree in your day-to-day activities?

Keith:From an organizational risk and compliance perspective, I use it when I am reviewing the IRS requirements for completing the Form 990 H and reviewing what counts as community benefit. Moreover, fulfilling the legal requirement as mandated by the IRS requires that I learn the nuances of nonprofit law. Additionally, depending on the project, I may see a HIPAA privacy and confidentiality issue. Or perhaps a project is conducting research, thus human subject laws have to be followed. Also, transactional/contract issues might need to be addressed.

PHLN:What are the greatest challenges facing hospitals today?

Keith:Hospitals operate on small margins and are increasingly asked to do more with less, given the social determinants of health such as housing, poverty, social isolation, transportation, and food insecurity that cause and/or exacerbate health problems in patients. Therefore, they are required to be innovative and think outside of the box as it relates to integrated care.

PHLN:How is your organization working to implement innovative and creative community health services?

Keith:Community Health Network was started by a neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis because residents recognized that the community needed a hospital. It was one donation at a time. This mission of community-oriented service continues today. We listened to our patients and realized that many of the issues they confront are related to social determinants of health.

For instance, we piloted a Medical-Legal Partnership (MLP) Program at our Community Hospital East. The MLP helped its very first client, a hospitalized patient, obtain the documents necessary to apply for Medicaid and Social Security disability. The patient did not have a copy of the document he needed to file for benefits that would allow him to transition from the hospital into long-term care. When his relative went to get a copy from a county agency, the agency said he could not obtain it under Indiana law. The MLP intervened, contacted the agency, and advocated for a liberal reading of the applicable statute to permit the relative access to the document. The county agency agreed, and the patient received the document.

Also, Community Health Network has a school-based program that has on-site nurses and behavioral health therapists to address students’ needs in the school and after-school setting. These services are free of charge to schools. Community offered these services after some school districts said that they could not continue to provide school-based nurses. We provide these services in 107 schools, with approximately 89,000 students. Having providers in the schools ensured a 95% return-to-classroom rate for students who came to them for services in 2016.

PHLN:In what other ways is your organization working to promote its mission and benefit the community?

Keith:Since 2016, Community has operated a food pantry called the Cupboard of Lawrence for residents of Lawrence Township, Indiana. A family can visit twice a month to receive food or personal items. To provide these services, we have partnered with multiple organizations, such as Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana and Midwest Food Bank. In 2017, we served approximately 14,000 households and 57,000 people. Also, we partnered with Brandywine Creek Farms to create the Rolling Harvest Food Truck, which takes fresh fruits and vegetables to areas that were food insecure. This enabled us to feed approximately 2,600 additional people.

We also have a Faith Health Initiative (FHI) whereby we support our faith partners by providing a variety of educational services designed to improve health awareness and access to care in several ways: 1) Speakers Bureau, 2) referrals to connect members with the right community resources, 3) monthly FHI Connect Newsletter, and 4) Faith Community nursing training and support, to name a few.

PHLN:Have community partners added value to these projects? If so, how?

Keith:Our partners add value every day by providing food donations and personal items to our food pantry. Additionally, because of our partnership with Indiana Legal Services, we receive approximately 10 referrals and requests for MLP information each week. We also average one to three presentations/meet and greets per month regarding the MLP and social determinants of health. Our Nurse Family Partnership is a result of our collaboration with Goodwill Industries to place a nurse with a vulnerable or new mom to teach her how to care for her child and to provide those wraparound services that ensure success. One last thing—we have partnered with Meals on Wheels on a pilot program to address food insecurity issues of patients with diabetes and chronic heart failure. By addressing the food issue, we are hopeful that we will see the patients’ health improve.

PHLN:You’ve been in your current position just over a year. How has your background in public health helped you in your most recent position?

Keith:It has been a tremendous help. Because so much of what we are doing requires measurable outcomes based on population health, I consider my time spent at the Marion County Public Health Department to be a valuable asset.

PHLN:Is the community benefit model more beneficial than less integrated healthcare delivery models? If so, can you describe how?

Keith:The community benefit model must be an integrated one. A silo approach is counterproductive because you are dependent on your colleagues to help drive the implementation strategy from your community health needs assessment (CHNA). Employees must understand how community benefit works, and the value it brings in helping to make their program initiatives succeed. For instance, because one of our outcomes from the 2015 CHNA is diabetes/obesity, it is incumbent upon Community Benefit to reach out to the health promotions sector, primary care sites, nursing, and population health to understand the current trends and diabetes programs being offered and be able to collaborate.

PHLN:What advice would you give other communities and hospitals interested in creating more comprehensive, community benefit health care?

Keith:I would recommend that they understand the community health needs assessment implementation strategy approved by their hospital board of directors. Second, it is essential that the hospital, from the board of directors to employees to providers, understand the definition of community benefit and its requirements. Third, organizations must talk to each other, share information, and not be afraid to have a successful failure.

PHLN:Have you read any good books lately?

Keith:I am currently reading A Wrinkle in Time.

PHLN:What would you be doing if you weren’t working in community health?

Keith:Practicing law or writing.

PHLN:Do you have any hobbies?

Keith:I like to read and run.

PHLN:Is there anything you’d like to add?

Keith:We should all support and advocate for the increased funding of public health.

Public Health Law NewsQuiz

The first reader to correctly answer the quiz question will be featured in a mini public health law profile in the August 2018 edition of the News.Email your entry to with “PHL Quiz” as the subject heading; entries without the heading will not be considered. Good luck!

Public Health Law NewsQuiz Question July 2018

What tool is an online resource developed by the Public Health Learning Network (PHLN) to connect public health professionals with trainings?

Public Health Law NewsQuiz Question June 2018 Winner!

Photo: Doug Blanke

Doug Blanke

June Question:

What upcoming event is dedicated to the following: improving access to health care; protecting vulnerable populations against health risks and injury; developing protections against discriminatory practices; and strengthening efforts of local, tribal, and state public health agencies?

Winning Quiz Answer: The 2018 Public Health Law Conference

Employment organization and job title: I’m the founder and executive director of the Public Health Law Center, where one of the nation’s largest teams of public health attorneys, policy analysts, and graduate students works with community partners nationwide, trying to create an America where everyone can be healthy.

A brief explanation of your job: When I’m not shuffling paper or basking in unearned credit for the accomplishments of our amazing staff, I try to bring a sense of direction to our work, which is about harnessing the power of law to help communities transform their environments. We focus on chronic disease prevention, including reducing commercial tobacco use, promoting healthy food, and encouraging active lifestyles.

Education: There was a time, long ago, when I studied humanities at Michigan State and law at Yale, but that was nothing compared to the lessons I now learn every day from my talented colleagues, our public health partners, and the people we serve.

Favorite section of CDC’s Public Health Law News:Profiles in Public Health Law, the inspiring stories of the public health giants among us.

Why are you interested in public health law? It’s hard to say which means more: the chance to make a difference, especially working with leaders of underserved populations; working with brilliant, passionate colleagues from a dozen disciplines; or using what I’ve learned in many years of policy advocacy to find synergies, make connections, and look for new solutions.

What is your favorite hobby? When the ice is out in Minnesota: kayaking on the St. Croix National Scenic River, a mile from my doorstep. In the other eleven months of the year: traveling to unfamiliar places rich in history, culture, and surprises.

Court Opinions

California: Decisions regarding sanitation and homelessness services constitute basic policy decisions that are immune from liability under the public entity immunity.
Venice Stakeholders Assoc. v. City of Los Angeles
Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division Four
Case no. B272373
Opinion by Justice Thomas L. Willhite, Jr.

Washington: Because Washington State has a statutory scheme for diagnosing and treating tuberculosis that puts public interest in protecting public health above rights of individuals, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed that the alleged conduct of the health department employees who threatened to incarcerate a noncompliant tuberculosis patient was not outrageous.
Reyes v. Yakima Health District
Supreme Court of Washington
Case No. 94679-5
Filed 06/21/2018
En Banc

Quote of the Month

“This is Washington state’s big step forward in providing consumers information to make informed choices on health care.” Thea Mounts, Director of the Washington State Statistical Analysis Center

[Editor’s note: This quote is from New Website Allows Washington State Residents to Research Health-Care Costs. Route Fifty  (06/28/2018)  Kate Elizabeth Queram.]

About Public Health Law News

The Public Health Law News is published the third Thursday of each month except holidays, plus special issues when warranted. It is distributed only in electronic form and is free of charge.

The News is published by the Public Health Law Program in the Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support.


Subscribe to Public Health Law News or access past issues. To make comments or suggestions, send an email message to


News content is selected solely on the basis of newsworthiness and potential interest to readers. CDC and HHS assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented from other sources. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by CDC or HHS. Opinions expressed by the original authors of items included in the News,persons quoted therein, or persons interviewed for the Newsare strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of CDC or HHS. References to products, trade names, publications, news sources, and non-CDC Web sites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by CDC or HHS. Legal cases are presented for educational purposes only, and are not meant to represent the current state of the law. The findings and conclusions reported in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of CDC or HHS. The Newsis in the public domain and may be freely forwarded and reproduced without permission. The original news sources and the Public Health Law Newsshould be cited as sources. Readers should contact the cited news sources for the full text of the articles.

Top of Page