The Johns Hopkins Gazette: December 4, 2000
December 4, 2000
VOL. 30, NO. 13


School of Public Health Establishes Joint Center with Georgetown Law

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and the Georgetown University Law Center have announced receipt of a three-year $900,000 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 Hopkins School of Public Health. 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. "The new center will be a valuable 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," said Anthony D. Moulton, director of the CDC program.

The project is directed jointly by Lawrence Gostin, who is on the faculties of both the Hopkins School of Public Health and the Georgetown Law Center, and Stephen Teret, a professor at the School of Public Health. The associate directors are Jon Vernick of Hopkins and Scott Burris of Georgetown.

"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," Teret said.

"For decades, the field of health law has focused narrowly on the financing and delivery of personal medical services," Gostin explained. "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."

Alfred Sommer, dean of the School of Public Health, said, "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."

Judith Areen, dean of the Georgetown Law Center, said, "Increasingly, lawyers play a critical role in how our society approaches health policy and biomedical ethics issues. 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."