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November 20, 2000

Center for Law and the Public's Health Established by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Georgetown University Law Center

Groundbreaking Project Receives $900,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Georgetown University Law Center have announced receipt of a three-year award from the Public Health Law Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The award will establish the Center for Law and the Public's Health located at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in East Baltimore. The Center will partner with the CDC Public Health Law Program and other organizations to conduct applied research, training and education, and other activities to strengthen the contribution law makes to improved health.

Created in October 2000, the Center award followed a rigorous, competitive review process. "We are very pleased to work with the new Center," said Anthony D. Moulton, PhD, director of the CDC program, "which will be a valuable new resource helping public health practitioners and attorneys, public policy makers, and the public understand and apply law and policy as tools for the prevention of disease and injury."

The project is directed jointly by Professor Lawrence Gostin who is on the faculties of both the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Georgetown University Law Center, and Professor Stephen Teret, a faculty member at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. The Center's associate directors are Professors Jon Vernick and Scott Burris.

"Our goal is to enhance the visibility and effectiveness of law as a tool for the promotion of the public's health. With the help of the CDC, this groundbreaking project will highlight the relationship between law and public health issues," said Teret.

"For decades, the field of health law has focused narrowly on the financing and delivery of personal medical services," said Gostin. "This new Center will transform the field, expanding the focus to the health of communities by identifying innovative ways to use law as a tool to promote the health of the population. Through scholarship and service, we will devote ourselves to the study of the legal powers and duties of government and the private sector to ensure the conditions for the public's health."

"Increasingly, lawyers play a critical role in how our society approaches health policy and biomedical ethics issues," said Judith Areen, dean of the Georgetown Law Center. "This exciting new project will bring more and better information and resources to the national dialogue on a range of public health issues confronting society today."

"We are delighted that the CDC recognizes the long-term, outstanding collaboration between the School of Public Health and Georgetown University Law Center, and their unique ability to undertake this pioneering project," said Alfred Sommer, MD, MPH, dean, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons or Kenna Brigham @ 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu