This Web Forum is Part Two of a series on public health, equity, and law. It will focus on two aims. First, it will provide a more robust overview of the pathway on public health, equity, and law, meant to inform the efforts of public health practitioners seeking to leverage law in their efforts to advance health equity. Second, it will introduce legal epidemiology and policy surveillance. Policy surveillance has provided vital information on the rapidly changing legal landscape that can be used to understand the impact of law on health outcomes, system performance, and costs. In this ninety-minute long Web Forum, CDC’s Public Health Law Program and the National Leadership Academy for the Public’s Health (NLAPH) will explore key competencies for public health leaders in utilizing legal epidemiology as an effective tool for planning and decision-making.

Speakers will discuss legal mapping, surveillance, and critical evaluation of implemented policies by comparing population health outcomes across national, state, and local levels. Participants will take away a professional understanding of legal data collection methods, value of long-term studies, and broadly how law is used to improve public health.


Matthew Penn, JD, MLIS

Director, Public Health Law Program

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Matthew Penn is the Director of CDC Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support’s Public Health Law Program (PHLP).  In his role as PHLP Director, he leads a team of legal analysts responsible for the agency’s efforts in legal epidemiology and workforce development to support the understanding and use…

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Amanda Moreland, JD, MPH

Public Health Analyst, Public Health Law Program,

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Amanda Moreland is a Public Health Analyst and contractor with the Public Health Law Program (PHLP) within the Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support (CSTLTS) at CDC. In her role at PHLP, Amanda provides technical assistance to state, tribal, local, and territorial partners and conducts legal epidemiology research…

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Mike Ellsworth, MPA, JD

Federal Liaison, Review Officer, Policy Counsel

Washington State Department of Health

Tumwater, WA

Michael Lewis Ellsworth serves as the Federal Liaison, Review Officer, and Policy Counsel with the Washington State Department of Health’s Office of Policy and Legislative Relations. Mr. Ellsworth advises the Washington’s Secretary of Health on federal legal issues and advocates for public health priorities with Washington’s federal congressional delegation. Mr.…

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Carmen Rita Nevarez, MD, MPH

Sr. Vice President Emeritus, External Relations and Preventive Medicine

Public Health Institute

Oakland, CA

  • Director, Center for Health Leadership and Practice, Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA

Carmen Nevarez, MD, MPH, is PHI's Senior Vice President for External Relations and Preventive Medicine Advisor and the Director of the Center for Health Leadership and Practice. A long-standing voice for the public's health, Nevarez is responsible for developing relationships with health and public health organizations and interests, advocating for…

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Presentation Slides


Date Published: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Public Health Law Introduction Videos