CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — 141st APHA Annual Meeting

Theme: Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World


Submission Deadline: Friday, February 8, 2013

The Law Section sessions provide an opportunity to present to APHA members your research and analysis of topics related to public health law and policy, health law, international health law, and human rights law. The Law Section encourages submission of abstracts related to this year's Annual Meeting theme: Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World, as well as abstracts on other timely topics related to public health law and policy.

 We encourage submission of all proposals and panel submissions that explore the effect of the law on any public health topic including emerging and traditional issues. The Law Section sponsors two general types of sessions: (1) those that seek to educate a lay audience on the state or application of the law as applied to a public health issue, and (2) those that would benefit an audience with legal expertise. Toward this end, please note in your abstract whether your presentation targets a lay audience or an audience with legal expertise.

 The Law Section reviews abstracts under the categories below. The final topics (and titles) of the panel sessions for the conference will depend on the abstracts that are received. With that in mind, please select and identify the category that most closely reflects your submission.

  • Jurisprudence
  • Practice
  • Research
Jurisprudence— Of particular interest are abstracts that explore the philosophical underpinnings and issues that arise in public health law practice and research. Abstracts submitted under the Jurisprudence category focus on issues dealing with jurisprudence, theoretical problems in research and practice in public health law, as well as ethics and comparative law. This category would also cover papers and abstracts that propose novel or detailed descriptions of new or proposed models of or reformulations of U.S. law or doctrines, or novel proposals for the use of litigation in the public health context. The Law Section is particularly interested in papers dealing with jurisprudential and theoretical problems; examples include, but are not limited to: privacy, cyberlaw, human rights law, issues of rationing health services, and issues of public health research abuses. Also, any abstracts that focus on pedagogy, regardless of topic area, should be submitted in this category.

Practice –
Public health law practice is varied. From lawyers working for government to lawyers in private practice; non-lawyers working in policy to lawyers in policy and academic settings, the variation of law “on the street” is considerable. Abstracts in this area might include:
  • Discussion of public health powers and authorities in practice;
  • Practice points (e.g., drafting, litigation approaches, clinical work);
  • Current policy efforts in a particular area;
  • Theories for litigation, and;
  • Politics and public health (e.g., implications for public health).

If you are submitting an abstract that provides a summary of existing law, please be sure and discuss why the law is important and how it can be used in public health.

New or theoretical legal models should be submitted under Jurisprudence. For example, a presentation on particular approaches to speech regulation under Commercial Speech doctrine should be submitted here (Practice); a presentation articulating the need for a new Commercial Speech doctrine under the 1st Amendment should be submitted under Jurisprudence.

Research—Public health law research is the scientific study of the relation of law and legal practices to population health, including both direct relationships between law and health, as well as relationships mediated through the effects of law on health behaviors and other processes and structures that affect population health. Such research encompasses both qualitative and quantitative studies using experimental, quasi-experimental, observational, or participatory designs. Methods include, but are not limited to, health impact assessments, formal decision analyses, simulations, econometric analyses, laboratory and social experiments, survey, interview, and focus-group studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses. Please indicate in your abstract your methodological approach. Traditional legal research should not be submitted in this category but should be submitted under Jurisprudence. Any theoretical discussions of social science methods or other methodological issues in study design should be submitted in this category.

Important abstract guidelines:

  • As a rule, abstracts and panels that merely describe an on-going or completed program or project will not be accepted unless there are clear research findings.
  • You must indicate your intended audience (e.g., public health lawyers or others with legal expertise, public health professionals without legal expertise, etc.)
  • Abstracts submitted to the Practice and Jurisprudence categories should not be purely descriptive but should instead make a case for a particular approach, technique, theory, etc.
  • If you are proposing a session or panel, please note the session proposal on each abstract submitted as a part of the panel. Please also note whether or not you would still be interested in presenting the abstract if the panel is not accepted as a whole.
  • We highly recommend drafting the abstract and learning objectives offline in a word document so you can edit them before pasting into the submission form. When submitting abstracts PLEASE take the time to be sure you have completed all the fields.
  • Abstracts are limited to 250 words.

 Also keep in mind that:

  • Learning objectives must also be submitted, but separate from the descriptive abstract.
  • The time allotment for presentations in our panels is usually 15-20 minutes.
  • We must have your name and contact information, including an email address for automatic receipt of notices regarding your abstract and session.
  • We need to know if you are a new presenter.
  • We need to know what AV you require. PowerPoint support will be available, however, other technologies may require rental fees.
  • You must respond to the question regarding significant financial interests.

Continuing Education Credit:

APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Please complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials.

For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

1) An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names;

2) At least one MEASURABLE SINGLE objective (“to understand” or “to learn” are not measurable objectives and compound objectives are not acceptable).  Use ONLY the following Measurable Action Verbs: Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List.

3) A signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement;

Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification Statement: (I have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.)

4) All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional. Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.

Thank you for your assistance in making your session credit worthy. Contact Annette Ferebee at if you have any questions concerning continuing education. For program questions, contact the program planner listed below.

Program Planner Contact Information:

Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH
Network for Public Health Law—Eastern Region
University of Maryland School of Law
500 West Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21201 Phone: 410.706.5994

Program Planner Contact Information:
Kerri McGowan Lowrey, JD, MPH
Network for Public Health Law--Eastern Region
University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
500 West Baltimore St
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410.706.5994