Summary of Powers and Duties Under the Local Public Health Act: Community Health Boards

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The Local Public Health Act (Minn. Stat. § 145A) was revised during the 2014 legislative session to clarify public health responsibilities of community health boards (CHBs); improve program efficiency; and eliminate outdated terms and provisions. The terms "CHB, county or city" replace "local board of health" throughout the statute. No local authorities or responsibilities were changed; the text was simplified and streamlined. This document outlines requirements ("the musts") and authorities ("the mays") for CHBs, county boards and in several instances, city councils of existing CHBs that were formed before January 2014.

A community health board must

  1. Identify local public health priorities and implement activities to address the priorities and the areas of public health responsibility.
  2. Submit a community health assessment and community health improvement plan, which is developed with input from the community, considering the statewide outcomes, areas of public health responsibility and the essential public health services (at least every five years).
  3. Implement a performance management process.
  4. Annually report on a set of performance measures and be prepared to provide documentation of ability to meet those measures.
  5. Appoint, employ, or contract with a CHS administrator.
  6. Appoint, employ, or contract with a medical consultant.
  7. Meet personnel requirements established for the CHS Administrator and the Medical Consultant.
  8. Ensure that community health services are accessible to all persons on the basis of need.
  9. Make investigations and reports and obey the instructions of the state commissioner to control communicable diseases.
  10. Have at least five members, must elect a chair and vice-chair, and must hold meetings at least twice a year.
  11. Must not deny services because of inability to pay.

Additionally, the community health board, county board, and city council (as applicable) must

  1. Enforce laws, regulations and ordinances pertaining to its powers and duties within its jurisdictional area.
  2. Order the removal or abatement of a public health nuisance, and if the nuisance is not abated, must have the nuisance abated or removed at the expense of the property owner.
  3. Must not deny services because of inability to pay.
  4. Must not refuse or neglect to perform a duty on penalty of a misdemeanor.

A community health board may

  1. Form a CHB through joint powers agreements, and may withdraw from the agreement with proper notice.
  2. Enter into agreements: a) with the commissioner of health to perform certain licensing, inspection, reporting, and enforcement duties; and b) to authorize the delegation of certain powers and duties to cities, or counties within its jurisdiction. Such delegations must be approved by the state commissioner of health.
  3. Acquire property, accept gifts and grants or subsidies, and establish and collect reasonable fees.
  4. Contract to provide, receive, or ensure provision of services.
  5. Establish a health department, and employ persons as necessary.
  6. Appoint a Community Health Advisory Committee.
  7. Recommend local ordinances to a county board or city council.
  8. Appoint a member, and an alternate to the State Community Health Services Advisory Committee.
  9. Use Local Public Health Grant funds to address the areas of public health responsibility and local priorities developed through the community health assessment and community health improvement planning process.

Additionally, a county board, or city council of an existing community health board may

There are a few key authorities which local jurisdictions, cities and counties, maintain. Local jurisdictions have always had these authorities, but they were described as belonging to the "local board of health" in all previous versions of the statute. With the removal of the term "local board of health" from the Local Public Health Act the statute now states that "a community health board, or county board or city council may.…"

  1. Enter a building, conveyance, or place where a cause of preventable disease is reasonably expected to exist in order to enforce public health laws, ordinances or rules.
  2. Seek an injunction to enjoin the violation of statute, rule or ordinance.
  3. A county board may adopt ordinances to regulate actual or potential threats to the public health unless the ordinances are preempted by, in conflict with, or less restrictive than the standards in state law or rule.