Impact Factor: 3.383 
ISI Journal Citation Reports® 2014 Rankings: 6/71 (Health Care Sciences & Services); 13/89 (Health Policy & Services)
Howard Markel, Editor-in-Chief          Christopher F. Koller, Publisher
Tara Strome, Assistant Managing Editor

From The Current Issue

From the Editor-in-Chief / September 2015
Wash Your Hands!
By Howard Markel

At this late date, it seems almost superfluous to assert the efficacy of proper hand hygiene against gastrointestinal and, to a lesser extent, respiratory infections. But it is no exaggeration to proclaim that hand hygiene ranks as one of the top ten discoveries in the history of preventive medicine, public health, and patient care. Incorporating the habit of frequently washing our hands in our daily lives is a simple but powerful health policy we can all wrap our hands around.

September 2015
The Op-Eds

Our op-ed section features some of the best minds currently working to improve the public’s health. In this issue, our contributors take on issues ranging from the intertwined, if not tortured, relationship of public health and First Amendment rights, the steady decline of Americans’ health insurance coverage, and the enduring stigma of mental health disorders and the barriers to treatment it creates.

Original Investigation / September 2015
Legal protections in public accommodations settings: A critical public health issue for transgender and gender nonconforming people
By Sari L. Reisner, Jaclyn M. White, Emilia Dunham, Katherine Heflin, Jesse Begenyi, Julia Coffey-Esquivel, and Sean Cahill

Since 2012, Massachusetts law has provided legal protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity in employment, housing, public education, and business. However, the law does not protect against discrimination in places open to the public, such as transportation, retail stores, restaurants, health care facilities, and bathrooms. Sixty-five percent of adults surveyed experienced discrimination since the law was passed—and had a greater risk of adverse health outcomes.

Original Investigation / September 2015
The Institutional Effects of Incarceration: Spillovers from Criminal Justice to Health Care
By Jason Schnittker, Christopher Uggen, Sarah Shannon, and Suzy Maves McElrath

The consequences of incarceration on former inmates and their families are well known. But along with the steady increase in incarceration in the United States comes a negative effect on the quality and functioning of the health care system. The health care system and the criminal justice system are related in real but underappreciated ways.