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
Wash Your Hands!
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.
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.
Legal protections in public accommodations settings: A critical public health issue for transgender and gender nonconforming people
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.
The Institutional Effects of Incarceration: Spillovers from Criminal Justice to Health Care
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.