tion V describes the results of the study and highlights trends in requests
submitted to the Network across a number of factors. Section VI discusses
potential explanatory factors and implications for several key trends. Section VII concludes the report by introducing potential next steps for further
research on these issues.
II. BACKGROUND ON THE NETWORK FOR PUBLIC HEALTH LAW
A. History, Goals and Activities of the Network
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) established the Network
for Public Health Law as part of its effort to address the increased need for
legal expertise among public health professionals.
8 RWJF’s goals in creat-
ing the Network included the creation of “a field of scholarship and practice
that will” result in a “robust public health legal infrastructure” as well as the
increased use “of laws that protect and promote population health.”
Network supports public health practice through several primary activities,
including responses to requests for legal technical assistance from public
health professionals, the development of legal resources, and efforts to en-
gage and connect the public health legal community in the hopes of estab-
lishing a true “network” of professionals.
10 These activities are carried out
at five regional centers, each of which is staffed by a group of public health
11 Each regional center specializes in one or more public
health law topics and responds to requests for assistance from a cluster of
states that constitute a particular region.
8. Press Release, Robert Wood Johnson Found., Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and
Partners Launch New Public Health Law Initiative (Sept. 21, 2010),
9. Marjorie A. Gutman et al., Evaluation of the Robert Wood Foundation Publica
Health Law Initiative (2d Interim Report 2013), https://www.astho.org/Research/Data-and-Analysis/Evaluation-of-Robert-Wood-Johnson-Foundation-s-Public-Health-Law-Initiative/.
10. NETWORK FOR PUB. HEALTH LAW, ANNUAL REPORT 2012, available at
https://www.networkforphl.org/_asset/l7rwxk/annual-report-2012-1.pdf (last visited Apr. 1,
11. Id. (stating that the Network’s five regional centers include: the Northern Region,
which is located at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota and serves eight
neighboring states; the Mid-States Region, which is located in Ann Arbor, Michigan and
serves nine neighboring states; the Eastern Region, which is located at the University of
Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law in Baltimore, Maryland and serves twelve
neighboring states; the Southeastern Region, which is located jointly at the University of
North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and the National Health Law Program in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and serves thirteen neighboring states; and the Western
Region, which is located at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of
Law in Tempe, Arizona and serves eleven neighboring states).