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May/June 2022 - Volume 28 - Issue 3

  • Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH
    Associate Editor: Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS
  • 1078-4659
  • 1550-5022
  • 6 issues / year
  • Public, Environmental, and Occupational Health: 125/176
  • 1.791
Public Health Interventions to Address Health Disparities Associated with Structural Racism
Published January/February 2022

As spring is upon us, bringing warmer temperatures, flowers, and the associated pollen, I would like to bring your attention to a few articles from the recent May/June issue of the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice of potential interest. The first article is from Pomeranz and Mozaffarian, and it describes their efforts to identify and analyze state laws and bills preempting local control over beverage containers to evaluate how the preemption provisions relate to public health policies aimed at reducing sugary beverage consumption. In this compelling study they found that state preemption laws that prohibit local regulation of containers may indeed preempt communities’ ability to enact public health policy strategies aimed at reducing sugary beverage consumption. These findings have important implications for future policy work to limit sugary beverage consumption.

The second article of note comes from Smith and colleagues, which examines trends in opioid prescription patterns from 2008 to 2019 in San Diego County, California. They report that total opioids prescribed increased by 29.7% from 2008 to 2012 and subsequently decreased by 54.4% from 2012 to 2019. The annual decrease in total morphine milligram equivalents from 2012 to 2019 averaged 5.9%. However, the two-year decrease in morphine milligram equivalents from 2017 to 2019 was 35.1%, indicating an accelerated reduction in recent years. These trends in San Diego are an example of coordinated efforts focusing on prescribers, patients, and regulatory oversight can positively impact the ongoing opioid epidemic.

Schexnayder and team bring us a compelling mixed-methods evaluation of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation among African American and Hispanic adults receiving medical care in Virginia's local health departments. They conclude that tailoring of pre-exposure prophylaxis services to communities with the greatest local burden may be needed to optimize the effectiveness of these programs in local health departments. These findings will be especially useful for local health departments serving diverse communities where HIV burden is especially high.

Finally, Wilking, Nink, and Cradock supplied a commentary calling for better access for safe drinking water, and highlight how federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) policy might better account for the cost of safe drinking water in the absence of accessible safe home drinking water. They argue that federal and state SNAP policies could account for the cost of water and leverage the SNAP EBT platform to deliver targeted aid to SNAP households residing in areas lacking access to safe drinking water. Their call to action is well informed, and could be used to shape national and state level legislation necessary to address the important issue of lack of safe drinking water.​

Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH                                                      Justin B. Moore, PhD, MS

Editor-in-Chief                                                                       Associate Editor

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