Public Health Law 101 and Introduction to Legal Epidemiology (A Mini-Course for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial (STLT) Health Departments (On-demand webinar)

2 modules

Course Length
90 mins

Region IV Public Health Training Center

12 Oct 2021



Note: This is a recording of a webinar held on May 16, 2018.

Training Overview

Public health law has important implications for protecting the public’s health. However, the need to protect the public’s health must be balanced with the rights of affected individuals. Accordingly, it is more important than ever for public health officials to understand the power and limits of their authority. Having an understanding of the constitutional power and limits of this authority equips public health practitioners and partners with the tools necessary to ensure their policies are constitutionally permissible and capable of withstanding legal challenge. Understanding the powers and limits of their authority is also central to intergovernmental collaboration. The legal concept of preemption, for example, has important implications for health care delivery and public health, but can be difficult to understand and challenging to navigate in practice. Legal research has also provided vital information on the rapidly changing legal landscape that can be correlated with data on health outcomes, system performance, and costs. State, tribal, local, and territorial health departments have expressed the need for capacity-building in surveilling and monitoring their own laws and policies. With the growing recognition that legal data can be used to guide public health practice comes the need for accurate translation, or dissemination, of legal epidemiology as a tool.  This mini-course was developed to address these challenges.

The course contains two modules: a content module and a resources and evaluation module. After accessing both modules, learners will earn a certificate of completion. When the certificate is available, learners will see a Certificate button on their dashboard.

This recording is approximately 90 minutes. There are no prerequisites. Participants will need a broadband internet connection (Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred browsers) and computer speakers. For technical support, please contact

About the Trainer

Montrece McNeill Ransom, JD, MPH
Team Lead, Public Health Law Training and Workforce Development, PHLP, CDC

Tara Ramanathan, JD, MPH
Team Lead, Legal Research and Translation, PHLP, CDC

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UB6HP31680, Public Health Training Centers for $4,348,992. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.


By the end of this webinar, participants will be able to:

  • Define key public health legal terms and principles including federalism, police powers, and plenary powers
  • Describe the major sources of authority for the practice of public health in the US
  • Define legal epidemiology
  • Identify the basic steps of a legal epidemiology project
  • Recognize when a legal epi project may support your jurisdiction’s policy-making efforts
  • Define policy surveillance as a component of public health research
  • Describe current evaluation and surveillance needs for law and policy


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Certificate of Completion for Online Module

Public Health Law 101 and Introduction to Legal Epidemiology (A Mini-Course for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial (STLT) Health Departments (On-demand webinar)
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