Health Officer Liaison Program

The Health Officer Liaison Unit brings together health officer appointment and training, state environmental health legislation, and local environmental assessment and intervention in one place.

The Health Officer Liaison Unit helps local health officers, local municipal officials, citizens, and others to: 

  • Understand the role of the local health officer in local environmental health inspections, solving problems, and enforcement. 
  • Understand how health officers are nominated and appointed 
  • Understand how New Hampshire laws and administrative rules, as well as local ordinances, are enforced by local health officers
  • Receive training and continuing education related to environmental health concerns, inspection and enforcement.
  • Receive technical assistance to increase local health officers’ skills in dealing with complex cases
  • Use available federal Block Grant funds to support municipalities and state agencies. 

Public Health Actions

Local health officers play important roles in investigating, enforcing, and resolving potential environmental public health hazards or risks within their communities. Health officers take action to ensure sanitary conditions are present in rental homes, neighborhoods, schools, and other public or private locations. Through their work, health officers can assist in improving the health and vibrancy of local communities. We help local municipalities to:

  • Appoint Local Health Officers: We process the appointments of local health officials on behalf of the DHHS Commissioner in accordance with the state law
  • Train their Workforce: We provide training opportunities that increase health officers’ knowledge, skills and ability to respond to environmental health threats or concerns. Specific topics include rental housing concerns, mold and moisture issues, pest management, septic and waste water, and public health nuisances. 
  • Get Technical Assistance: We provide case-specific technical assistance to expand the capacity of local health officials to respond to complex environmental health situations.
  • Collaborate with Peers: We help to facilitate communication and coordination between health officers, the NH Health Officers Association (NHHOA), and state officials. 

For almost two decades, the NH Department of Public Health Services’ Health Officer Liaison Unit (HOLU) has helped New Hampshire towns and cities across the state appoint, train, and support local health officers. With the important role of investigating, enforcing, and resolving environmental health hazards, the local health officer plays a key role in fostering safe environments for people to live in. To support that work, the HOLU program is responsible for appointing local health officers, providing training opportunities, and providing technical assistance to expand the capacity of health officers to address complex situations.