Ross D. Silverman, JD, MPH, is professor of health services administration and policy and associate dean for faculty affairs at Temple University College of Public Health. He holds a secondary appointment as a professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and is a member of the Temple University Center for Public Health Law Research.

Professor Silverman’s work focuses on public health; population health; health care technology; and health care law, policy and ethics. He also frequently teaches on issues related to negotiation and dispute resolution. He is particularly interested in how these areas affect the health and well-being of vulnerable populations. Professor Silverman is an internationally recognized expert on issues related to vaccination law, policy and ethics, and during the COVID-19 pandemic served as an advisor to local, state and national government and non-governmental organizations on vaccination access, hesitancy, mandates and exemptions. His COVID-19 scholarship also has included law, policy and ethics concerns related to contact tracing; quarantine and isolation; inequities arising in local, state, national and international response efforts; and ethical and legal issues associated with implementation of public health policy.

Professor Silverman is also a national leader in the field of policy surveillance and legal epidemiology: the study of variations in, and the impact of, law, its interpretation, and its implementation and enforcement on health outcomes and vulnerable populations. His recent work in this area has focused on how local (city and county) law address substance use and addiction, the effects of state policies on opioid treatment, use and opioid-related health outcomes. He also serves as an associate editor for legal epidemiology for the journal Public Health Reports, the official journal of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service.

His recent research has appeared in such peer-reviewed publications as the New England Journal of Medicine, BMJ, JAMA, JAMA-Pediatrics, Health Affairs, and the Hastings Center Report.

He has been active in service and leadership to his field, elected to multiple terms as chair of the American Public Health Association Health Law Special Primary Interest Group and the APHA Action Board, and was a leader in the establishment of the American Public Health Association Law Section. In 2013, he was awarded the APHA Law Section’s Lifetime Service Award. He also has been a mentor in the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s program on the Future of Public Health Law, and regularly serves as a member of the planning committee for the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics’ Jay Healey session on Teaching Health Law at the annual Health Law Professors Conference.

Prior to his tenure at Temple University, Silverman was a professor at Indiana University's Fairbanks School of Public Health and McKinney School of Law, and professor and chair of medical humanities at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine.


  • JD, Boston University
  • MPH, Health Services, Boston University
  • BA, History, Indiana University–Bloomington

Curriculum Vitae 

Selected Publications

  • Head, K.J., Zimet, G.D., Yiannoutsos, C.T., Silverman, R.D., Sanner, L., & Menachemi, N. (2022). Factors that differentiate COVID-19 vaccine intentions among Indiana parents: Implications for targeted vaccine promotion. Prev Med, 158, p. 107023. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107023

  • Jackson, J.R., Harle, C.A., Silverman, R., Simon, K., & Menachemi, N. (2022). State-level regulations and opioid-related health outcomes. Drug Alcohol Depend, 232, p. 109294. Ireland. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2022.109294

  • Danielson, E.C., Harle, C.A., Silverman, R., Blackburn, J., & Menachemi, N. (2021). Assessing Variation in State Opioid Tapering Laws: Comparing State Laws with the CDC Guideline. Pain Med, 22(12), pp. 2941-2949. England. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnab208

  • Evans, N.G., Berger, Z.D., Phelan, A.L., & Silverman, R.D. (2021). Covid-19, equity, and inclusiveness. BMJ, 373, p. n1631. England. doi: 10.1136/bmj.n1631

  • Sanner, L., Grant, S., Walter-McCabe, H., & Silverman, R.D. (2021). The Challenges of Conducting Intrastate Policy Surveillance: A Methods Note on County and City Laws in Indiana. Am J Public Health, 111(6), pp. 1095-1098. United States. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2021.306227

  • Zimet, G.D., Silverman, R.D., & Fortenberry, J.D. (2021). Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Vaccination of Children and Adolescents: Prospects and Challenges. J Pediatr, 231, pp. 254-258. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.11.002

  • Zimet, G.D., Silverman, R.D., Bednarczyk, R.A., & English, A. (2021). Adolescent Consent for Human Papillomavirus Vaccine: Ethical, Legal, and Practical Considerations. J Pediatr, 231, pp. 24-30. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.01.026

  • Kroshus, E., Cameron, K.L., Coatsworth, J.D., D'Lauro, C., Kim, E., Lee, K., Register-Mihalik, J.K., Milroy, J.J., Roetert, E.P., Schmidt, J.D., Silverman, R.D., Warmath, D., Wayment, H.A., & Hainline, B. (2020). Improving concussion education: consensus from the NCAA-Department of Defense Mind Matters Research & Education Grand Challenge. Br J Sports Med, 54(22), pp. 1314-1320. England. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2020-102185

  • Mello, M.M., Silverman, R.D., & Omer, S.B. (2020). Ensuring Uptake of Vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. N Engl J Med, 383(14), pp. 1296-1299. United States. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp2020926

  • Jackson, J.R., Harle, C.A., Silverman, R.D., Simon, K., & Menachemi, N. (2020). Characterizing variability in state-level regulations governing opioid treatment programs. J Subst Abuse Treat, 115, p. 108008. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2020.108008

  • Andraka-Christou, B., Atkins, D., Madeira, J., & Silverman, R.D. (2020). Receipt of training about medication for opioid use disorder from pharmaceutical manufacturers: A preliminary study of Florida criminal problem-solving and dependency court staff. Drug Alcohol Rev, 39(5), pp. 583-587. Australia. doi: 10.1111/dar.13090

  • Berger, Z.D., Evans, N.G., Phelan, A.L., & Silverman, R.D. (2020). Covid-19: control measures must be equitable and inclusive. BMJ, 368, p. m1141. England. doi: 10.1136/bmj.m1141

  • Silverman, R.D. (2020). The Role of Law and Ethics in Recent Preparedness and Response for Vaccine-Preventable Illness. Public Health Rep, 135(6), pp. 851-855. United States. doi: 10.1177/0033354920949532

  • Kroshus, E., Cameron, K.L., Coatsworth, J.D., D'Lauro, C., Kim, N.J., Lee, K.M., Register-Mihalik, J., Milroy, J.J., Roetert, E.P., Schmidt, J.D., Silverman, R.D., Warmath, D., Wayment, H.A., & Hainline, B. (2020). Improving Concussion Education: Consensus From the NCAA-Department of Defense Mind Matters Research & Education Grand Challenge. J Spec Oper Med, 20(3), pp. 88-95. United States. doi: 10.55460/6UWZ-D7UU

  • Andraka-Christou, B., Gabriel, M., Madeira, J., & Silverman, R.D. (2019). Court personnel attitudes towards medication-assisted treatment: A state-wide survey. J Subst Abuse Treat, 104, pp. 72-82. United States. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2019.06.011

  • Silverman, R.D., Opel, D.J., & Omer, S.B. (2019). Vaccination over Parental Objection - Should Adolescents Be Allowed to Consent to Receiving Vaccines? N Engl J Med, 381(2), pp. 104-106. United States. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1905814

  • Silverman, R.D. (2019). Controlling Measles through Politics and Policy. Hastings Cent Rep, 49(3), pp. 8-9. United States. doi: 10.1002/hast.996

  • Silverman, R.D. & Yang, Y.T. (2019). Lessons From California's Discipline of a Popular Physician for Vaccination Exemptions Without Medical Cause. JAMA Pediatr, 173(2), pp. 121-122. United States. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.3835

  • Yang, Y.T. & Silverman, R.D. (2018). Mandatory influenza vaccination and religious accommodation for healthcare workers: Lessons from recent legal challenges. Vaccine, 36(28), pp. 3998-4000. Netherlands. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2018.05.071

  • Andraka-Christou, B., Rager, J.B., Brown-Podgorski, B., Silverman, R.D., & Watson, D.P. (2018). Pain clinic definitions in the medical literature and U.S. state laws: an integrative systematic review and comparison. Subst Abuse Treat Prev Policy, 13(1), p. 17. England. doi: 10.1186/s13011-018-0153-6

  • Silverman, R.D. & Wiley, L.F. (2017). Shaming vaccine refusal. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 45(4), pp. 569-581. doi: 10.1177/1073110517750597

  • Opel, D.J., Schwartz, J.L., Omer, S.B., Silverman, R., Duchin, J., Kodish, E., Diekema, D.S., Marcuse, E.K., & Orenstein, W. (2017). Achieving an Optimal Childhood Vaccine Policy. JAMA Pediatr, 171(9), pp. 893-896. United States. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2017.1868

  • Miller, W.R., Groves, D., Knopf, A., Otte, J.L., & Silverman, R.D. (2017). Word Adjacency Graph Modeling: Separating Signal From Noise in Big Data. West J Nurs Res, 39(1), pp. 166-185. United States. doi: 10.1177/0193945916670363

  • Silverman, R.D. & Hensel, W.F. (2017). Squaring State Child Vaccine Policy With Individual Rights Under the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act: Questions Raised in California. Public Health Rep, 132(5), pp. 593-596. United States. doi: 10.1177/0033354917720939

  • Crossley, M. & Silverman, R.D. (2016). Reflections on mentoring. Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, 44(1_suppl), pp. 76-80. doi: 10.1177/1073110516644233

  • Silverman, R.D., Meyerson, B., & Priest, C.F. (2015). Needle Exchange Programs for HIV Outbreaks. JAMA, 314(19), p. 2085. United States. doi: 10.1001/jama.2015.12672

  • Silverman, R.D., Meyerson, B., & Priest, C.F. (2015). Needle Exchange Programs for HIV Outbreaks. JAMA-JOURNAL of the AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, 314(19), pp. 2083-2083. Retrieved from

  • Silverman, R.D. & Hendrix, K.S. (2015). Point: should childhood vaccination against measles be a mandatory requirement for attending school? Yes. Chest, 148(4), pp. 852-854. United States. doi: 10.1378/chest.15-1163

  • Silverman, R.D. & Hendrix, K.S. (2015). Rebuttal from Prof Silverman and Dr Hendrix. Chest, 148(4), pp. 856-857. United States. doi: 10.1378/chest.15-1164

  • Yang, Y.T. & Silverman, R.D. (2015). Social distancing and the unvaccinated. N Engl J Med, 372(16), pp. 1481-1483. United States. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp1501198

  • Raskin, J.B., Kamm, M.A., & Streck, P. (2015). Reply: To PMID 25167986. Gastroenterology, 148(4), pp. 856-857. United States. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2015.02.045

  • Yang, Y.T. & Silverman, R.D. (2015). Legislative prescriptions for controlling nonmedical vaccine exemptions. JAMA, 313(3), pp. 247-248. United States. doi: 10.1001/jama.2014.16286

  • McGee, S. & Silverman, R.D. (2015). Treatment agreements, informed consent, and the role of state medical boards in opioid prescribing. Pain Med, 16(1), pp. 25-29. England. doi: 10.1111/pme.12580

  • Yang, Y.T. & Silverman, R.D. (2014). Mobile health applications: the patchwork of legal and liability issues suggests strategies to improve oversight. Health Aff (Millwood), 33(2), pp. 222-227. United States. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2013.0958

  • Silverman, R.D. (2013). POVERTY, HEALTH, AND LAW: READINGS AND CASES FOR MEDICAL-LEGAL PARTNERSHIP. JOURNAL of LEGAL MEDICINE, 34(3), pp. 327-336. doi: 10.1080/01947648.2013.831305

  • Silverman, R.D. (2013). EHRs, EMRs, and health information technology: to meaningful use and beyond: a symposium introduction and overview. J Leg Med, 34(1), pp. 1-6. United States. doi: 10.1080/01947648.2013.768134

  • Cook, R., Pan, P., Silverman, R., & Soltys, S.M. (2010). Do-not-resuscitate orders in suicidal patients: clinical, ethical, and legal dilemmas. Psychosomatics, 51(4), pp. 277-282. England. doi: 10.1176/appi.psy.51.4.277

  • Silverman, R.D. (2009). Litigation, regulation, and education--protecting the public's health through childhood immunization. N Engl J Med, 360(24), pp. 2500-2501. United States. doi: 10.1056/NEJMp0901598

  • Silverman, R.D. (2009). Public Health Law: Power, Duty, Restraint, 2nd edition. PUBLIC HEALTH, 123(3), pp. 292-292. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2008.12.013

  • Silverman, R.D. (2008). Access to care: who pays for health care for the uninsured and underinsured? J Leg Med, 29(1), pp. 1-9. United States. doi: 10.1080/01947640701876390

  • Silverman, R.D. (2008). UNDERSTANDING PATIENT SAFETY. JOURNAL of LEGAL MEDICINE, 29(4), pp. 561-567. doi: 10.1080/01947640802494903

  • Silverman, R.D. (2008). Enhancing public health law communication linkages. J Law Med Ethics, 36(3 Suppl), pp. 29-49. England. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-720X.2008.00313.x

  • Williams, R.G., Silverman, R., Schwind, C., Fortune, J.B., Sutyak, J., Horvath, K.D., Eaton, E.G.V., Azzie, G., Potts, J.R., Boehler, M., & Dunnington, G.L. (2007). Surgeon information transfer and communication: factors affecting quality and efficiency of inpatient care. Ann Surg, 245(2), pp. 159-169. United States. doi: 10.1097/01.sla.0000242709.28760.56

  • (2007). The Law of Medical Practice in Illinois.

  • Silverman, R. (2006). Policy Priorities. In Bioterrorism Preparedness Medicine - Public Health - Policy. John Wiley & Sons.

  • Silverman, R.D. (2006). Legal Preparedness: The Modernization of State, National, and International Public Health Law. In Bioterrorism Preparedness: Medicine - Public Health - Policy (pp. 239-252). doi: 10.1002/3527608133.ch11

  • Silverman, R.D. (2006). Policy Priorities: Smallpox, Stockpiles, and Surveillance. In Bioterrorism Preparedness: Medicine - Public Health - Policy (pp. 225-238). doi: 10.1002/3527608133.ch10

  • May, T. & Silverman, R.D. (2005). Free-riding, fairness and the rights of minority groups in exemption from mandatory childhood vaccination. Hum Vaccin, 1(1), pp. 12-15. United States. doi: 10.4161/hv.1.1.1425

  • Silverman, R.D. (2004). Patient safety and patients' rights. Virtual Mentor, 6(6). United States. doi: 10.1001/virtualmentor.2004.6.6.pfor2-0406

  • May, T. & Silverman, R. (2003). Bioterrorism defense priorities. Science, 301(5629), p. 17. United States. doi: 10.1126/science.301.5629.17

  • May, T. & Silverman, R.D. (2003). Should smallpox vaccine be made available to the general public? Kennedy Inst Ethics J, 13(2), pp. 67-82. United States. doi: 10.1353/ken.2003.0013

  • Silverman, R.D. & May, T. (2003). Terror and triage: prioritizing access to mass smallpox vaccination. Creighton Law Rev, 36(3), pp. 359-374. United States. Retrieved from

  • May, T. & Silverman, R.D. (2003). 'Clustering of exemptions' as a collective action threat to herd immunity. Vaccine, 21(11-12), pp. 1048-1051. Netherlands. doi: 10.1016/s0264-410x(02)00627-8

  • Silverman, R.D. (2003). Current legal and ethical concerns in telemedicine and e-medicine. J Telemed Telecare, 9 Suppl 1, pp. S67-S69. England. doi: 10.1258/135763303322196402

  • May, T., Silverman, R.D., & Aulisio, M.P. (2003). Do healthcare professionals have an obligation to be vaccinated against smallpox? APA Newsl Philos Med, 2(2), pp. 209-212. United States. Retrieved from

  • Silverman, R.D. (2003). Public Health Law and Ethics: A Reader. Journal of Legal Medicine, 24(2), pp. 241-248. doi: 10.1080/713832154

  • Silverman, R.D. (2003). No more kidding around: restructuring non-medical childhood immunization exemptions to ensure public health protection. Ann Health Law, 12(2), pp. 277-294. United States. Retrieved from

  • May, T., Aulisio, M.P., & Silverman, R.D. (2003). The smallpox vaccination of health care workers: professional obligations and defense against bioterrorism. Hastings Cent Rep, 33(5), pp. 26-33. United States. Retrieved from

  • Silverman, R.D. (2002). E-health and e-medicine. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am, 16(6), pp. 1495-1507. United States. doi: 10.1016/s0889-8588(02)00064-3

  • Silverman, R.D. & May, T. (2001). Private choice versus public health: religion, morality, and childhood vaccination law. Margins (Baltim), 1(2), pp. 505-521. United States. Retrieved from

  • Silverman, R.D. (2000). Regulating medical practice in the cyber age: issues and challenges for state medical boards. Am J Law Med, 26(2-3), pp. 255-276. England. Retrieved from