Priscilla Keith Participates in Joint ABA-CDC Program on Public Health Emergency Preparations
What is the role of law and the courts in public health emergency response? That was the topic of a program co-sponsored by the American Bar Association (ABA) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Priscilla D. Keith was a panelist at the program which took place on February 12 in Atlanta, GA. Keith, a 1993 graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis, is Adjunct Professor and Director of Research and Projects for the Hall Center for Law and Health.
The ABA’s Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness and the CDC’s Public Health Law Program presented the special program at the ABA Midyear meeting.
Although disaster preparedness plans have the potential to protect at-risk populations from harm and maintain or quickly restore the routines or functions of civil society, even the most thorough and prescient plan will fall short if it does not reach across professional jurisdictions and agencies. To help leaders better understand the issues, legal experts representing emergency preparedness in two sectors—public health and the judiciary---discussed balancing federal, state, and local power and responsibilities; balancing the common good with safeguarding of individual liberties; preserving the rule of law; and building on existing emergency response coordination mechanisms and structures wherever possible.
Other panelists at the event with Ms. Keith included Jean O’Connor, CDC (moderator); George B. Huff, Jr., Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts; James Hatten, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia; Denise Chrysler, University of Michigan Regional Center of the Public Health Law Network; Dana R. Wise, Marion County Health Department.