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The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act (MSPHA)


The Turning Point National Collaborative on Public Health Statute Modernization seeks to transform and strengthen the legal framework for public health through a collaborative process to develop a model state public health law to better protect and promote the public's health. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as part of its Turning Point Initiative, the Collaborative is a multi-disciplinary group comprised of representatives from five states (lead state, Alaska, and Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin), nine national organizations and government agencies, and experts in specialty areas of public health.

Released on September 16, 2003 after three years of development and a national commentary period, the Turning Point Model State Public Health Act is designed to serve as a tool for state, local, and tribal governments to use to revise or update public health statutes and administrative regulations.

On June 15, 2004, the Turning Point Public Health Statute Modernization Collaborative received the 2004 Distinguished Achievement in Public Health Law Award at the CDC/ASLME Public Health Law Conference. The annual award is given by the Public Health Law Association to acknowledge outstanding achievement in the development, use or application of law as a means to promote healthy people in healthy communities.

Legislative Status Update: From January 1, 2003 - August 15, 2007, the subject matter or specific language from the Turning Point Act has been featured or introduced in whole or part through 133 bills or resolutions in thirty-three (33) states, of which forty-eight (48) have passed. The extent to which the Act's provisions are featured in these bills varies extensively. For more information, please refer to the following tables:

Turning Point Act State Legislative Update Table [as of August 15, 2007] - this table provides a summary of key state legislative bills or resolutions featuring statutory provisions that either used actual language from the Turning Point Act, or are based on all or some part of its subject matter; and

Turning Point Act State Legislative Matrix Table [as of August 15, 2007] - this table organizes the legislative areas that relate to major sections or corresponding themes in the Turning Point Act. It indicates those bills that were introduced, passed, and vetoed, and provides summary counts of these bills.

The Colorado Legislature passed major public health legislation, SB 194: The Public Health Revitalization Act, based in part on the Turning Point Act. SB 194 was signed into law by Colorado Governor Bill Ritter on June 3, 2008. For more information from the Colorado Public Health Alliance, please link here.

For additional information about the Collaborative, its work products, the Turning Point Act, and existing or emerging case studies please see the links below:

Turning Point Collaborative Brochure (April 2001)

State Public Health Law Assessment Report (April 2002) - Lawrence O. Gostin and James G. Hodge, Jr.

State Public Health Law - Assessment Report (May, 2002) (Power Point Presentation) - James G. Hodge, Jr.

National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) Resolution "Urging States to Review Their Public Health Laws" (December 2003)

Reforming Public Health Laws in the 21st Century: The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act (June 2004) (Power Point Presentation) - James G. Hodge, Jr.

Michigan Briefing on Turning Point and Public Health Law Reform (October, 2004) (Power Point Presentation) - Mark Bertler and Karen Krzanowski.

Anchorage Daily News: Quarantine Quandary - Experts Try to Balance Privacy and Safety, March 15, 2005 - story discussing Alaska state public health bill based on the Turning Point Act.

Creating Tribal Public Health Law (November, 2005) (Power Point Presentation) - Teresa Wall, National Indian Health Board Public Health Workshop

Hodge, JG , Gostin, LO, Gebbie, K, Erickson, DL. Transforming public health law: The Turning Point Model State Public Health Act. Journal of Law, Medicine, and Ethics 2006 ; 34:1: 77-84.

For more information concerning modern public health law case studies in 4 states (AK, SC, WI, and NE) regarding the Turning Point Model State Public Health Act, please link here.