Municipal health officers have a significant role in ensuring effective local and regional public health systems and are responsible for three critical functions.
- Enforcing applicable New Hampshire laws and administrative rules (i.e. regulations), as well as local ordinances and regulations enacted by communities;
- Serving as liaisons between state officials, local elected officials, and residents for local public health issues; and,
- Leading and actively participating in efforts to develop regional public health capacities.
The importance of these roles has increased as New Hampshire experiences disease outbreaks and demands greater emphasis on public health emergency preparedness.
The HOL unit is also responsible for processing the appointments of local health officials in accordance with state law. Identification cards, certificates and letters of appointment are issued by the unit on behalf of the DHHS Commissioner.
While the HOL unit primarily serves local health officials, information and referral services are also provided to the general public. These services typically involve referring individuals to appropriate state agencies or providing information about various public health concerns.
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