CHAPTER 16. PUBLIC HEALTH.

§16-2-2. Definitions.

Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this article:

“Appointing authority” means the county commission or municipality, or combination thereof, that authorized the creation or combination of the local board of health, in whatever form it presently exists;

“Basic public health services” means those services that are necessary to protect the health of the public and that a local board of health must provide. The three areas of basic public health services are communicable and reportable disease prevention and control, community health promotion, and environmental health protection;

“Bureau” means the Bureau for Public Health in the Department of Health and Human Resources;

“Clinical and categorical programs” means those services provided to individuals of specified populations and usually focus on health promotion or disease prevention. These services are not considered comprehensive health care but focus on specific health issues such as breast and cervical cancer, prenatal and pediatric health services, and home health services;

“Combined local board of health” is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a board of health serving any two or more counties or any county or counties and one or more municipalities within or partially within the county or counties;

“Commissioner” means the Commissioner of the Bureau for Public Health, who is the state health officer;

“Communicable and reportable disease prevention and control” is one of three areas of basic public health services each local board of health must offer. Services shall include disease surveillance, case investigation and follow-up, outbreak investigation, response to epidemics, and prevention and control of rabies, sexually transmitted diseases, vaccine preventable diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and other communicable and reportable diseases;

“Community health promotion” is one of three areas of basic public health services each local board of health must offer. Services shall include assessing and reporting community health needs to improve health status, facilitating community partnerships including identifying the community’s priority health needs, mobilization of a community around identified priorities, and monitoring the progress of community health education services;

“County board of health” is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a local board of health serving a single county;

“Department” means the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources;

“Director” or “director of health” means the state health officer. Administratively within the department, the Bureau for Public Health through its commissioner carries out the public health function of the department, unless otherwise assigned by the secretary;

“Enforcement activity” means the implementation or enforcement of applicable state rules, local rules, and local health department rules;

“Enhanced public health services” means services that focus on health promotion activities to address a major health problem in a community, are targeted to a particular population and assist individuals in this population to access the health care system, such as lead and radon abatement for indoor air quality and positive pregnancy tracking. Enhanced public health services are services a local health department may offer;

“Environmental health protection” is one of three areas of basic public health services each local board of health must offer. Services shall include efforts to protect the community from environmental health risks including, inspection of housing, institutions, recreational facilities, sewage, and wastewater facilities; inspection and sampling of drinking water facilities; and response to disease outbreaks or disasters;

“Guidance” means providing advice to a person, the public, a business, school board, or governmental entity regarding a public health issue or matter. Guidance is not a health order;

“Health order” means an order issued by the local health officer or local health board to protect the public health of the citizens by directing an individual or a discreet group of individuals to take a specific action to protect the health of the public or stop the spread of a communicable disease;

“Imminent public health emergency” means any immediate acute threat, hazard, or danger to the health of the population of the jurisdiction, whether specific or general, whether or not officially declared;

“Local board of health”, “local board”, or “board” means a board of health serving one or more counties or one or more municipalities or a combination thereof;

“Local health department” means the staff of the local board of health;

“Local health department rule” means a rule issued by the local board of health that has been approved by the appointing authority or was adopted prior to March 4, 2021, or a rule issued by the local board of health that may immediately go into effect because of an imminent public health emergency under §16-2-1(b)(3)(H) of this code;

“Local health officer” means the individual physician with a current West Virginia license to practice medicine who supervises and directs the activities of the local health department services, staff and facilities and is appointed by the local board of health with approval by the commissioner;

“Local rule” means an order adopted by a county commission or an ordinance adopted by a city that properly directs the local health department to implement or enforce the order or ordinance;

“Municipal board of health” is one form of organization for a local board of health and means a board of health serving a single municipality;

“Performance-based standards” means generally accepted, objective standards such as rules or guidelines against which a local health department’s level of performance can be measured;

“Primary care services” means health care services, including medical care, that emphasize first contact patient care and assume overall and ongoing responsibility for the patient in health maintenance and treatment of disease. Primary care services are services that local boards of health may offer if the board has determined that an unmet need for primary care services exists in its service area. Basic public health services funding may not be used to support these services;

“Program plan” or “plan of operation” means the annual plan for each local board of health that must be submitted to the commissioner for approval;

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources; and

“Service area” means the territorial jurisdiction of the local board of health; and

“State Rule” means a state statute, legislative rule promulgated by a state agency or an order of the secretary relating to public health that is to be enforced by a local health department.

Bill History For §16-2-2