Online Program

Building an interdisciplinary field: Where we are and where we need to go

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.

Naima T. Wong, PhD, MPH, Research and Evaluation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
Angela K. McGowan, JD, MPH, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, NJ
Beginning in 2009, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation embarked on a major task to build a new field of practice and research on public health law. Four years later, the Public Health Law Initiative includes Public Health Law Research, The Network for Public Health, Public Health Law Fellowships, Partnership for Public Health Law, and the engagement of key public health law stakeholders. A comprehensive multi-level evaluation of the individual programs and the overall initiative is currently underway. Data collection is quantitative and qualitative in nature including surveys, ongoing review of program administration data, and key informant interviews with program staff, public health law constituents, and key partners at the local, state and national levels. Preliminary evaluation findings suggest that public health law is gaining recognition as a tool for public health. Communities of practice are emerging. Public health and legal practitioners have increased opportunities for formal training and informal sharing of public health law. A growing body of evidence is beginning to inform policy debate and discussion at all levels of government. Work remains, however, to build a field of public health law that is sustainable. Future opportunities include expanding formal educational opportunities for public health practitioners to better understand law, improving methods to evaluate law, and diversifying funding to sustain programs to advance public health law as well as research to guide policy development and evaluation of existing laws.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s investment in public health law. Discuss the preliminary findings of an ongoing evaluation of the Foundation’s various public health law programs. Identify opportunities to sustain and expand the field of public health law research and practice.

Keyword(s): Health Law, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Naima Wong is the Program Officer for Research and Evaluation for the Public Health team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. She is the leader of the evaluation of the Foundation's Public Health Law Initiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.