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County Health Authority Theoffice of The office of Phase II: 2.010.

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Presentation on theme: "County Health Authority Theoffice of The office of Phase II: 2.010."— Presentation transcript:

1 County Health Authority Theoffice of The office of Phase II: 2.010

2 Objectives Legal authority Requirements for appointment Primary functions Scope of public health

3 Public Health: A Definition An approach to health care concerned with the health of the community as a whole. Medical Care  focuses on individual patients  vital to all of us some of the time  saves lives one at a time  disease treatment Public Health  focus on entire populations  vital to all of us all of the time  saves lives thousands at a time  prevention, protection and promotion

4 Increased Life Expectancy Driven by Public Health Improvements Source:Ten Great Public Health Achievements -- United States, MMWR, April 02, 1999 / 48(12); Increased years due to medical care advances: 5 Increased years due to public health measures : 25

5 Health Authority A health authority is a physician appointed under the provisions of Local Public Health Reorganization Act, Health and Safety Code, Chapter 121 to administer state and local laws relating to public health within the appointing body's jurisdiction. A “physician” means a person licensed to practice medicine by the Texas Medical Board.

6 Health Authority Appointed by county judge, city council, county commissioner’s court, or health department/district director for 2 year term. Mandatory only in jurisdictions that receive funding from DSHS for essential public health services. Duties include aiding the state with quarantine, sanitation enforcement, public health law enforcement, reportable diseases, vital statistics collection.

7 Texas Public Health Map

8 Requirements for a Health Authority Be a competent physician with a reputable professional standing who is legally qualified to practice medicine in Texas Be a resident of Texas Take and subscribe to the official oath of office required by the Texas Constitution, Article 16, §1 File a copy of the oath and statement of appointed officer with the appropriate DSHS Regional Office within ten working days of the date of taking the oath

9 Required Health Authority Forms Statement of Appointed Officer (To be completed and signed by newly appointed HA and submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office before the Oath of Office and Certificate of Appointment forms can be completed.) Certificate of Appointment (To be completed by elected official within the jurisdiction and mailed to DSHS Regional Office with HA Oath of Office form. HA Oath of Office (To be completed by HA and seal of the person administering the oath should be visible. Form should be mailed to DSHS Regional Office with Certificate of Appointment.)

10 Clinical Prevention Skills helpful for HAs Rabies Risk Assessment, treatment and prophylaxis of bites/exposures. Diagnosis of childhood exanthems/rashes and infestations. Vaccine Preventable diseases. Contact prophylaxis for specific diseases: TB, Meningococcal Meningitis, Hepatitis A… Evaluation and Management of blood borne pathogen exposures.

11 Benefits of Health Authority Gives counties local control over Public Health issues and emergencies. Provides a rapid response to locally occurring conditions, crisis situations and disease outbreaks. Higher degree of legal protection for commissioners court members in areas relating to public health responsibilities. Could provide an advantage to a local jurisdiction competing for state and federal funding for health initiatives.

12 Texas Counties without Local Health Departments A county without a local health department is not obligated to have a local health authority. A DSHS Regional Medical Director (RMD) shall perform the duties of a health authority in a county/jurisdiction where there is no local health authority. No monetary contribution is required by a county to sustain a local health authority.

13 Rural Counties- HA Functions Work with appropriate DSHS Regional Office by: Supporting efforts to establish, maintain, and enforce control measures regarding communicable or infectious diseases. Reporting the presence of contagious, infectious, and dangerous epidemic diseases. Assisting in enforcement of state & local public health laws, rules, and ordinances regarding food safety, sanitation and nuisance control measures.

14 Ensure local adherence to state law regarding reportable diseases and vital statistics collection. Arrange for and/or carry out local court ordered testing for blood-borne and/or sexually transmitted infections in cases of persons accused of offenses that pose a potential risk of disease transmission. Act as liaison between DSHS, local officials, and local medical community during outbreaks and natural disasters. Rural Counties- HA Functions

15 Rural Counties- Additional HA Functions Inform/educate the community about the importance of reporting contagious and infectious communicable diseases. Engage in health planning and disaster planning for the community. Prepare/disseminate public health information to the community regarding outbreaks and public health threats. Respond to questions or concerns about public health threats from local elected officials, community leaders or community groups.

16 Duties Typical of HA Affiliated with a Local Health Department: Set priorities, review long and short range plans, and assess progress. Regularly evaluate Staff performance. Sign standing orders for Health Department Staff and assure compliance with state and federal laws. Review and submit reports, etc. relating to funding source requirements.

17 Funding Health Authorities Remuneration is allowed by law, but not required Local Health Departments or Districts

18 Suggestions Rotate the HA appointment among different physicians. Encourage close working relationships. Keep HA’s duties in line with legal requirements.

19 Review Definition of a health authority Requirements for appointment to office Basic responsibilities

20 Resources DSHS Regional and Local Health Services DSHS Regional and Local Health Services – LHA webpage DSHS Communicable Disease Control Measures Manual shtm Texas Legislature Online


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