In June, Georgia State Law graduate Megan Douglas (J.D. ’12), director of health policy at the National Center for Primary Care at Morehouse School of Medicine, and student Claire Humston (J.D. ’21) attended a training on legal epidemiology, hosted by the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research Policy Surveillance Program. The two-day intensive training marked the 10th anniversary of the center in Philadelphia.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes legal epidemiology as “the scientific study of law as a factor in the cause, distribution and prevention of disease and injury in a population.” A critical feature of legal epidemiology, policy surveillance is the “systematic tracking of public health laws and policies over time and across jurisdictions, using a rigorous scientific process to create legal datasets for evaluation and empirical research.”
“This conference positions researchers to engage in impactful studies to improve public health,” said Humston.
Attendees of the training were taught methodology of conducting policy surveillance, conceptualized potential projects, and discussed strategies for dissemination of research results. Douglas and Humston are excited to collaborate on future legal epidemiology projects.
“I was introduced to legal epidemiology in 2013, when the field was very young,” said Douglas. “It was great to see how the science is evolving and to meet other researchers from all disciplines who are studying the impact of laws on health.”