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University of Iowa News Release

Oct. 10, 2003

CDC Official To Discuss Intersection Of Public Health, Law Investigations

The anthrax scares of 2001 drew together the fields of law enforcement and public health in an unprecedented fashion, highlighting both similarities and differences in each profession's goals and methods. To enhance the joint effectiveness of law enforcement and public health when both disciplines conduct simultaneous investigations in response to bioterrorist threats and attacks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Public Health Law Program has developed a course known as "Forensic Epidemiology."

On Thursday, Oct. 16, Richard A. Goodman, M.D., co-director of the Public Health Law Program, will discuss the context and key aspects of this course in his presentation, "Forensic Epidemiology: Coordinating Public Health and Law Enforcement Investigations of Bioterrorism." The free lecture will be from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 20 of the Nursing Building on the University of Iowa campus. It also will be broadcast live over the Iowa Communications Network (ICN) and via streaming video on the web.

In his talk, Goodman will define the term "forensic epidemiology" in relation to threats to human health and illustrate how this term applies to past medical and public health problems; review the approach taken to joint training of public health and law enforcement officials; and identify and briefly outline selected legal issues potentially arising in the setting of joint investigations by public health and law enforcement officials.

The program is part of the fall 2003 Grand Rounds series sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness (ICPHP). Advanced registration is requested and may be completed online at Links to the live web broadcast, as well as archives of past presentations, are available on the center's site.

In addition to his work with the Public Health Law Program, Goodman is also an adjunct professor at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and at the College of Law at Georgia State University. His previous work at CDC included completing assignments for state public health practice and academia and serving as editor of the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" (MMWR) series. Goodman is a medical epidemiologist also trained in law and specializes in assisting public health professionals to strengthen their understanding of the legal bases of public health practice. He is also the lead editor of "Law in Public Health Practice" (Oxford University Press, 2003).

The presentation is sponsored by the Iowa Center for Public Health Preparedness, based in the UI College of Public Health, and the Iowa Association of Local Public Health Agencies. The ICPHP is funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Association of Schools of Public Health.

For more information about the Grand Rounds series, contact Angela Harding, program assistant in the Center for Public Health Preparedness, at 319-335-8451 or by e-mail at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa College of Public Health Office of Communications, 4257 Westlawn, Iowa City, Iowa 52242.

MEDIA CONTACT: Debra Venzke, 319-335-9647,