Local Elected Official Orientation - CHS Admin Handbook - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Appendix: Local Elected Official Orientation

CHS Administrator Jill Bruns of Kandiyohi-Renville developed the orientation below, intended to be a half-day meeting with discussions for new county commissioners (or, also, new staff). An orientation like the one below, along with a manual or set of important documents, can help board members and staff better understand each other's roles, leading both to be more informed, invested, and committed.

In Kandiyohi-Renville, Ms. Bruns and her staff also invite new commissioners to spend a day with public health staff in the fall, after elections. The commissioners attend home visits for families and vulnerable adults, jail, restaurant inspections, schools, etc. Shadowing public health staff for a day can make a powerful impact on commissioners, and can inform their interactions with public health for years to come.

Orientation Agenda

Attendees: New County Commissioners, Local Public Health Staff

Part I. Overview of Community Health in Your County/City

  1. History of your county/city public health department
  2. Philosophy of public health
    1. Your county/city public health mission statement
    2. Mission statement of community health services from MDH
    3. Principles of public health
    4. Levels of prevention
  3. History of Local Public Health Act (Minn. Stat. § 145A)
  4. Powers and duties of a community health board and local board of health
  5. Public health advisory committee
    1. Purpose and charge
    2. Local membership
    3. State Community Health Services Advisory Committee (SCHSAC)
  6. Financing of community health services
    1. Sources of funding for your county/city
    2. Fees for service/sliding fee policy
    3. Annual budget
  7. Local Public Health Assessment and Planning (LPHAP) and Annual Reporting
    1. Overview of planning process
    2. Review of priority issues in your county/city
    3. Required reports
    4. Preparing for national accreditation
  8. Staffing for public health services
    1. Staff directories
    2. Definitions of staff positions and responsibilities  

Part II. Areas of Public Health Responsibility: Staff Presentations

Use this section of the agenda as a sample of what programs and services you would like to highlight under the areas of public health responsibility (below).

You will want to pick several specific programs for presentations under each category, and list them on the agenda, along with the name of the staff person who will be presenting the material. Remember to include your collaborative activities, where appropriate.

Assure an adequate local public health infrastructure.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________

Promote healthy communities and healthy behaviors.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________

Prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________

Protect against environmental health hazards.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________

Prepare for and respond to disasters, and assist communities in recovery.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________

Assure the quality and accessibility of health services.

Programs to present/discuss: ____________________