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Bioterrorism and Legal Issues: The New Mexico Experience. NGA Regional Bioterrorism Workshop San Francisco, California May 13-14, 2004. Clifford M. Rees Assistant General Counsel New Mexico Department of Health. New Mexico Has Broad Statutory Powers Regarding Public Health Issues.

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Bioterrorism and Legal Issues: The New Mexico Experience

NGA Regional Bioterrorism Workshop

San Francisco, California

May 13-14, 2004

Clifford M. Rees

Assistant General Counsel

New Mexico Department of Health


New mexico has broad statutory powers regarding public health issues
New Mexico Has Broad Statutory Powers Regarding Public Health Issues

Public Health Act

(Emergency powers contained in the Act originate from the Laws of 1919, Chapter 85, Section 10)

Additional Powers include:

  • Health Facility Licensure

  • Disease Reporting

  • Involuntary Detention for Threatening Communicable Diseases


New mexico has broad statutory powers regarding public health issues1
New Mexico Has Broad Statutory Powers Regarding Public Health Issues

EMS Act

Provisions include:

  • Licensure of EMTs

  • Air Ambulance Certification

  • Trauma Care System Designation

  • Other Provisions


New mexico has broad statutory powers regarding public health issues2
New Mexico Has Broad Statutory Powers Regarding Public Health Issues

Other Acts

  • Primary Care

  • Immunizations

  • Harm Reduction

  • Vital Statistics


Public health law modernization
Public Health Law Modernization Health Issues

Model State Public Health Privacy Act (October,1999)

www.critpath.org/msphpa/privacy.htm

Model State Public Health Act (September, 2003)

www.turningpointprogram.org/Pages/MSPHAfinal.pdf


Nm department of health doh
NM Department of Health (DOH) Health Issues

Centralized Public Health System

  • Central Office (Santa Fe)

  • 4 District Health Offices

  • 53 Local Health Offices

  • All staffed by State employees


Events Triggering Increased Focus on Public Health Emergency Preparedness

Y2K

Roll out of DOH’s revised Emergency Operations

Plan (EOP) September, 1999

  • Tour of State Emergency Operations Center (EOC)

  • Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS)

  • Infectious Disease Scenario


Cerro Grande Fire - Los Alamos, NM Preparedness

May, 2000

  • First Use of ICS by DOH

  • First FEMA grant for Crisis Counseling Assistance under the Stafford Act administered by DOH


Events of 9/11 Preparedness

Anthrax Attacks – October 2001

CDC/HRSA Federal funding initiatives 2002-Present

Smallpox Vaccination Program – 2002-2003

SARS Outbreak – 2002-2003


Legal Developments Preparedness

Model State Emergency Health Powers Act

(Fall, 2001)

www.publichealthlaw.net/MSEHPA/MSEHPA2.pdf

www.ncsl.org/programs/health/modelact.pdf

NM Interim Legislative Health and Human Services Committee (November 27, 2001)

Tri-Agency Attorney Emergency Management Workgroup (December, 2001)


2002 “Short” PreparednessLegislative Session

-Senate Bill 136(Passed)

Approval of in-state and out-of state licensees

-Senate Bill 149 (Passed)

Emergency Procurement

-House Bill 261 (Passed)

Review and update State All-Hazard Plan

Conduct emergency tests


2002 “Short” PreparednessLegislative Session

Senate Joint Memorial 62/House Joint Memorial 34

  • DOH, Department of Public Safety, Attorney General’s Office to convene a work group to evaluate state emergency powers

  • Obtain input from public, other state agencies and interested parties

  • Report back to an interim committee of the Legislature by the Fall of 2002


SJM 62/HJM 34 Process (2002-2003) Preparedness

Senate Joint Memorial 62/House Joint Memorial 34

  • 8 Town Hall Public Meetings Statewide

  • 2 State Agencies Meetings

  • Interested Parties Outreach

    NM ACLU, NM Health and Hospital Systems

    Assn., NM Foundation for Open Government,

    NM Press Assn., Five Sandoval Tribes,

    Health Law Section of State Bar


SJM 62/HJM 34 Process (2002-2003) Preparedness

Senate Joint Memorial 62/House Joint Memorial 34

  • 4 Interim Legislative Committee

    Hearings

  • Legal Consultants

    Institute of Public Law – University of New Mexico

    James G. Hodge, Jr., J.D, L.L.M.- Johns Hopkins

    University, Bloomberg School of Public Health


Whom did we forget
Whom Did We Forget? Preparedness

The New Mexico Trial Lawyers Association


SJM 62/HJM 34 Process (2002-2003) Preparedness

Final Report and Executive Summary

DOH Website:

http://www.health.state.nm.us


2003 “Long” PreparednessLegislative Session

  • House Bill 231 (Passed)

    Public Health Emergency Response Act

  • House Bill 254 (Passed)

    Amend the NM Inspection of Public

    Records Act to protect confidentiality of

    tactical response plans and risk assessments

  • House Bill 232 (DOA)

    Emergency Powers Code

  • House Bill 253 (DOA)

    Amend the NM Riot Control Act to explicitly

    provide for forced evacuation


New Public Health Emergency Powers Preparedness

House Bill (HB) 231

Public Health Emergency Response Act (PHERA), Sections 12-10A.-1., et seq., NMSA 1978, (Laws of 2003, Chapter 218)

Located on New Mexico Legislature’s

website - www.legis.state.nm.us Click on Bill Finder, 2003 Regular Session, House Bill (HB) 231, Final Version


Distinct Features of the PHERA Preparedness

  • Enhanced Public Health Advisory

  • Rights of Household and Family Members

  • Mental Health Counseling

  • Compensation

  • Job Protection

  • Memorandum of Understanding with

  • Tribes and Pueblos

  • Cross References to Public Health Act


2004 “Short” PreparednessLegislative Session

  • House Bill 22 (DOA)

    Emergency Powers Code

  • House Bill 98 (DOA)

    Interstate Compact on Threatening

    Communicable Diseases

  • House Bill 108 (DOA)

    Emergency Prescriptive Authority


Current Legal Focus Preparedness

  • DOH full-time dedicated attorney for public health emergency preparedness funded through CDC Cooperative Agreement (March 1, 2004 – Present)

  • NM Legal Framework for Public Health Emergency Preparedness PowerPoint (July, 2003 – Present)

    • Based on CDC/Center for Law and the Public’s Health PowerPoint piloted at the CDC Public’s Health and the Law in the 21st Century Conference, Atlanta, Ga., June 17, 2002. (Approximately 20 presentations statewide to 600 people)


Current Legal Focus Preparedness

  • NM Emergency Preparedness Legal Handbook (in progress)

  • Illinois TOPOFF 2 Legal Team Handbook (April, 2003)

  • “Communicable Disease Control Measures in Texas: A Guide for Public Health Authorities in a Public Health Emergency” (2002)

  • www.tdh.state.tx.us/phpep.ila


Current Legal Focus Preparedness

  • CDC Public Health Law Program Initiatives

  • Forensic Epidemiology Course

  • Community Public Health Legal

  • Preparedness Course


Conclusions
CONCLUSIONS Preparedness

  • Bridge Communication Gap

  • Interdisciplinary Cooperation

  • Statutory and Regulatory Changes

  • Be Proactive


Websites
Websites Preparedness

New Mexico Legislative Council Service

www.legis.state.nm.us

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov

Public Health and Preparedness Response

www.bt.cdc.gov

Public Health Law Program

www.phppo.cdc.gov/od/phlp

The Center for the Law and the Public’s Health www.publichealthlaw.net


Websites1
Websites Preparedness

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)

www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

Model Intrastate Mutual Aid Legislation-National Emergency Management Association

www.nemaweb.org

Emergency Management Assistance Compact

www.emacweb .org


Clifford M. Rees Preparedness

Assistant General Counsel

Office of General Counsel

New Mexico Department of Health

P.O. Box 26110

Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-6110

Ph: (505) 476-7725

[email protected]


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