Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Law Center Receives International Distinction

The Center for Law and the Public’s Health, a joint venture between Georgetown and Johns Hopkins University, recently became the first academic center to receive a major global designation from the World Health Organization and Pan American Health Organization.

The center, established in 2000 as a local headquarters for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, was meant to serve as a nexus of resources for matters relating to global health, transnational law, ethics and human rights. Its application for the unique global status of Collaborating Center in Public Health Law and Human Rights had been pending for years before it was announced that it had edged out Harvard University for the designation on onday.

Lawrence Gostin, associate dean of academic research and academic programs at the Law Center and dean of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at JHU, was appointed to head the institute.

“As a partner of WHO, the center will confront critical health issues such as the bird flu, influenza, SARS and natural disasters akin to the recent Hurricane Katrina,” Gostin said.

Gostin also said Georgetown’s Jesuit identity and approach to scholarship make it an appropriate choice for the landmark designation.

University President John J. DeGioia “recognizes the obligation of the Georgetown community to contribute to the cause of HIV/AIDS and believes that all students, faculty and members of the University should be involved as to provide services to the people with the epidemic,” he said.

The center’s new Web site describes its history and some of its recent activities, including its contribution to the relief effort for the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

“Working with the CDC, we have been advising the states around the Gulf about the law and ethics associated with the flooding populations of refugees,” Gostin said.

Other members of the center, including Law Center Dean Alexander Aleinikoff and Stephen Teret, a center director at the Bloomberg School, said that they anticipate great achievements by the institute.

In addition, Gostin has been working with the WHO and compiling a draft for a global strategy to confront influenza and other medical conditions.

“I have been looking into ethical and legal guidelines associated with SARS and the bird flu,” he said of his work.

Another issue on the center’s agenda is public health emergencies, especially bioterrorism and natural disasters. Center officials hope that new grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will enable the group to create a model public health legislature for natural disaster emergencies, according to the center’s Web site.

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