Support and Resources for Strengthening Public Health Protections
Public health agencies use their authority for more than preventing epidemics and the spread of disease; they serve many other critical functions, such as preventing injuries, testing children for lead exposure, promoting healthy behaviors, responding to disasters, advancing health equity and more. Act for Public Health provides direct support to public health departments and others through consultation, training, legal technical assistance, research, and resources to address legislation that weakens their ability to protect the communities they serve.
Connect with Us
Join our email list to receive updates on new and upcoming legislation and litigation, along with resources and events related to public health authority.
Do you want to know about your jurisdiction’s public health authority or have questions about current or pending laws or litigation impacting public health in your jurisdiction? Are there specific bills that have been introduced or laws passed that you would like us to review.?
We are tracking public health authority-related litigation and pending and passed laws so that we can share them with the public health community. Let us know about pending cases and legislation.
What is public health authority?
Public health authority refers to a public health department’s legal ability to further public health by using tools
such as community engagement, data collection, scientific research, laws and regulations, enforcement, and the many
methods of sharing information and guidance with those who need it most.
Who We Are
We are an initiative of the Public Health Law Partnership, a group of organizations and experts applying their decades of experience in public health law and policy work to help push back against legislative attempts to block public health officials’ ability to do their job.
The Center for Public Health Law Research at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law supports the widespread adoption of scientific tools and methods for mapping and evaluating the impact of law on health.
ChangeLab Solutions is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that uses the tools of law and policy to advance health equity. We partner with communities across the nation to improve health and opportunity by changing harmful laws, policies, and systems. Our interdisciplinary team works with community organizations, governments, and local institutions to design and implement equitable and practical policy solutions to complex health challenges. For Act for Public Health, we conduct legal research, analysis, and policy tracking; convene public health law and policy experts; coordinate with national advocacy organizations and professional associations; create a suite of tools to inform and educate; and, provide training and technical assistance.
We collaborate with others to reduce and eliminate commercial tobacco, promote healthy food, support physical activity, and address other causes of chronic disease. We partner with Tribal health leaders, federal agencies, national health advocacy organizations, state and local governments, planners, researchers, attorneys, community coalitions, and individuals working on public health issues to create healthier communities around the country.
The Public Health Law Watch (PHLW) is a collaborative initiative of the George Consortium. We focus on identifying potential legislative and regulatory changes at the federal, state, and local level that have the potential to impact public health. Our goal is to increase visibility and understanding of current public health law issues, identify ways to engage on these issues, and provide relevant legal analysis and commentary.
The Network for Public Health Law provides visionary leadership in the use of law to protect, promote and improve health and health equity. We provide non-partisan legal technical assistance and resources, collaborating with a broad set of partners across sectors to expand and enhance the use of practical legal and policy solutions.
We work in partnership with others who are also working to ensure that public health officials have the tools, resources and support they need to do their jobs and protect their communities.
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that combines a 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence policy to improve the public’s health. One of APHA’s current projects supports state affiliates in their efforts to protect public health authority.
The Local Solutions Support Center is a national hub that coordinates and creates efforts to counter the abuse of preemption. Our goals are to raise awareness of state preemption and its consequences, reduce the use of this threat to local autonomy, and strengthen the power of local governments to advance policies that promote equity, inclusion, public health, and civic participation.