Center for Health Law, Policy & Practice (CHLPP)


The Center for Health Law, Policy and Practice (CHLPP) began the organizational phase of its operations in May of 2009. Co-directed by Professors Frank McClellan and Scott Burris, CHLLP is being designed as the institutional hub for Temple Law's health related activities and networks. Our goal is to serve the law school, Temple University and the Philadelphia community through teaching, research, scholarship and advocacy of laws, policies and law enforcement practices that promote health.

Funded Projects

The Center encompasses Professor Burris' externally funded projects. These projects include:

1 . National Program Office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's (RWJF) Public Health Law Research Program

– Opened in June of 2009 CHLPP and Temple Law houses RWJF's Public Health Law Research Program (hereinafter "PHLR Program"). Under the direction of Professor Burris, the Program Staff has grown to encompass a Deputy Director, Heidi Grunwald, an Administrator, Sharon Samuels, one Legal Fellow, Evan Anderson, and a Policy and Research Network Coordinator, Marek Sulzynski. Additionally, the PHLR Program has two Associate Directors, Temple Public Health Professor Jennifer Ibrahim and Alex Wagenaar, Professor of epidemiology and health policy research at the University of Florida College of Medicine. The PHLR Program's Research Methods team includes Temple Criminal Justice Professor Jennifer Wood, Jeffrey Swanson, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine and Michelle Mello, professor of law and public health at Harvard's School of Public Health. The Program has funded 14 research projects under its first Call for Proposals, as well as one Rapid Response project. The second Call for Proposals, expected to be funded at approximately $3.5 million, was issued on February 10, 2010. In January, the initial set of grantees met at Temple to discuss the expectations of the PHLR Program and initiate their research projects. The National Program Office also conducts its own research, and this year worked with Temple's Criminal Justice department to study anti-violence interventions and attitudes towards health in the Philadelphia police department. Program staff are currently preparing an article regarding their research on laws regulating the use of communications devices while driving and have a paper in press at the Milbank Quarterly that defines public health law research and describes challenges for the field. The National Program Office launched its website in December of 2009. It includes podcasts explaining public health law research and its methods, and a growing "evidence base" setting out the evidence of effectiveness of various legal interventions in health. See

2 . Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium

The Drug Control and Access to Medicines Consortium (hereinafter "DCAM") is made up of CHLPP, the AIDS Projects Management Group of Australia and the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin. Professor Burris and CHLPP received a £500,000, two-year grant from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development to continue the DCAM Consortium's work in promoting access to opioid medicines for pain and the treatment of drug dependency. With partners in Australia and the University of Wisconsin, the Center is coordinating international advocacy efforts aimed at the main UN drug control bodies, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the International Narcotics Control Board, and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. Other elements of the project include a website of resources for opioid policy reform, model laws and regulations, and tools for policy assessment and change. On February 18, 2010, the Center co-sponsored a symposium on the issue with the Temple Law Comparative and International Law Journal, which will publish a collection of papers about DCAM's work.

3 . Syringe Access Law CHLPP was funded by the Foundation for Aids Research, an international organization dedicated to the support of AIDS research, to study local laws regulating syringe access programs in 20 major US cities. The impetus for the work, conducted over the Summer of 2009, was the debate in Congress over the elimination of a ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs. The Center's work was instrumental in defeating federal amendments that would have imposed stringent federal restrictions on the location of programs.

Teaching and Advanced Degrees

CHLPP staff is creating an inventory of currently taught health law courses as part of a larger effort to expand health law offerings at the law school. Temple Law currently has a joint degree program with the Fox School of Business, and we are also investigating joint degrees with the Schools of Public Health and Social Work.

CHLPP is looking into offering new courses on the following subjects: A multi-disciplinary Course on Medical Decision-making, Ethics and the Law; A Course on Healthcare Financing with a focus on private and public insurances; A Clinical Course using a "medical-legal partnership" structure as a vehicle for long-term integration of health, law and clinical programs, as well as other clinical health law opportunities; and A multi-disciplinary course for the Temple Schools of Nursing, Business and Medicine Professor McClellan has also met with several alumni and heads of non profit organizations who are interested in providing externships for students. This semester we will continue to explore these potential collaborations with The Health Law Project of Pennsylvania, The Aids Law Project of Pennsylvania, Abington Hospital, Philadelphia Fight, and the Public Health Management Corporation.

China Health Law Programs

Professor Burris continues to work with Temple Law Faculty and colleagues at Tsinghua University in China to support further development and funding of health law in Tsinghua's law school.

Alumni Network

We are creating a network of alumni working in health or health law. Our first step will be the creation of a central advisory board.

Service to the Local, National and International Communities

CHLPP staff engage in extensive service activities. Specifically, Professor Burris holds the following positions:

  • Member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on HIV Screening and Access to Care Advisor to UNAIDS about criminal law and HIV
  • Member of a subcommittee on legislation of the UNAIDS Global Reference Group on Health and Human Rights
  • Member of a CDC advisory committee on the use of pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention
  • Member of the Human Rights Watch Health and Human Rights Advisory Committee
  • Participant in national HIV strategy planning meetings sponsored by both the National Institute of Drug Abuse and a consortium of grass roots HIV organizations.
  • Participant in Clinton Foundation consultation on access to opioid medicines

Professor McClellan holds the following positions:

  • Board of Directors of Aids Law Project of Pennsylvania
  • Board of Directors To Our Children's Future With Health, Inc.
  • Board of Directors Cyberhood After-School Initiative
  • Steering Committee for National Summit on Health Disparities in Musculoskeletal and Joint Diseases
  • Advisory Committee Pa. Dept. of Health, Office of Health Equity
  • Advisory Committee, Temple University School of Medicine, Office of Minority Health
  • Lecturer on Law and Ethics in Temple University School of Medicine-- Course on Doctoring

Health Disparities

A major goal of CHLPP is to help reduce health disparities based on race, gender, ethnicity and income. We intend to accomplish this by collaborating with community organizations and other departments at Temple to conduct research in this area and implement effective interventions.

Our initial project was a multidisciplinary conference on health disparities held Nov. 13, 2009, planned by Frank McClellan, Ron Iller and Josh Zissman (graduates of the Fox School and officers of the TUHMA), and co-sponsored by CHLPP, the Fox School of Business, the Temple University School of Nursing, the Temple Health Management Association and the Temple Law Review. The conference attracted registrants from the Philadelphia area as well as registrants from other states such as Georgia, New York and Maryland. Twenty-four panelists from disciplines of Medicine, Nursing, Law, Business, Healthcare Administration and Social Work made presentations at the conference. In total, the conference included more that 140 registrants with proportionate representation from various disciplines. Continuing education credits were offered for lawyers, nurses, and health administrators. Dr. Calvin Johnson, former Secretary of Health of Pennsylvania. and currently V.P and Chief Medical Officer of the Temple Health System delivered the keynote presentation at lunch. Brian McDonough, a well known physician who makes reports regularly on KYW served as the moderator for the afternoon session.

The conference produced scholarship and several collaborative efforts that have moved forward quickly. Temple Law Review will publish a symposium issue that includes articles on health disparities written by conference presenters, including two articles by Frank McClellan-- one on Health Disparities and Moral Politics, and another co-written on Nurse Practitioners and Primary Care-- and an article by Scott Burris and associates on racial disparities in access to sterile syringes to prevent HIV. The symposium issue will also include articles written by professors from Villanova Law School and SUNY Buffalo Law School, a leader of a community legal service organization, and an essay from Dr. Calvin Johnson. The conference initiated bridge building – between the various departments in the University, community organizations, Temple Alumni and faculty members at other universities – to develop and implement research and intervention projects, as well as multidisciplinary curriculum development.

Frank McClellan is now participating as a member of a steering committee planning a National Summit on Health Disparities to be held in Washington, D.C. in September of 2010, which will be sponsored by the Zimmer Corporation. The focus will be musculo-skeletal health. The conference will be multidisciplinary, with doctors, nurses, healthcare administrators, representatives of major non profit organizations, foundations and governmental officials.

Other Activities

Professor McClellan is establishing a partnership between CHLPP, the Temple Schools of Nursing and Social Work, and the non profit organization To Our Children's Future With Health, Inc (hereinafter "TOCFWH"). This partnership will collaborate on research projects and interventions to protect and promote the health of children in selected neighborhoods in North Philadelphia – with a special focus on obesity, exercise and nutrition.

We are currently drafting two proposals for funding support from the Temple Provost and the National Institutes of Health. Professor McClellan is also working with Marla Davis, Executive Director of the Anti-violence Coalition, and Amy Goldberg, a Temple Hospital emergency room physician who established the program "Cradle to Grave," which develops violence reduction programs. Ms. Davis and Dr. Goldberg have agreed to collaborate with the Center to present a series of lectures and works shops to discuss "Violence as a Public Health Issue." We are hoping to develop a lecture series that will be of interest to law students, healthcare providers and members of the community interested in public health issues. We are also exploring projects that will involve law students in legal research as possible externships.

With the support of the funds provided for the Beck Chair, Professor McClellan, Professor Nancy Rothman of the Temple School of Nursing and Beth Koob, General Counsel to the Temple Health System, are planning a joint conference between CHLPP and the Nursing School entitled "Legal and Ethical Issues In Nursing Care." Professor Burris has been investigating the possibility of developing a multi- university, multi-disciplinary partnership to advance CHLLP's work on disparities in cooperation with neighborhood organizations and residents in North Philadelphia.