Appoint a Health Officer

Laws Regarding the Appointment and Authority of Local Health and Deputy Officers

Health Officer Nomination Form   

The purpose of appointing a health officer is to ensure that every municipality has a single official who understands state health laws and who is ready to assess and remedy public health threats. In addition, State law requires that each municipality support a health officer in their job duties, job safety, and training to protect public health. State law RSA 128 defines the process by which local health officers are appointed.

Appointing a health officer under RSA 128 is a multi-step process:

  1. The municipal government body (i.e. Board of Selectmen, Town Council, etc.) must nominate an individual for appointment to the Commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) via a standard form.    
  2. The Commissioner then appoints the health officer based on that recommendation. The Commissioner has the sole legal authority to appoint town health officers.
  3. The DHHS Program staff send a packet to the health officer with an identification card, certificate, and letter. 
  4. Finally, the appointed health officer must complete a 3-hour training in state health laws within a year.  

In contrast, the NH DHHS does not appoint city health  officers. It is the sole authority of the governing body of a city to appoint a health officer.  However, NH DHHS Health Officer Liaison Unit does provide technical assistance and training opportunities to city health officers. 

More information on appointing a health officer can be found in the “Appointments” Health Officer