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Domain 6 Documentation Examples

Domain 6: Enforce public health laws

Domain 6 focuses on the role of public health departments in the enforcement of public health related regulations, executive orders, statutes, and other types of public health laws. Public health laws are key tools for health departments as they work to promote and protect the health of the population. Health department responsibilities related to public health laws do not start or stop with enforcement. Health departments also have a role in promoting new laws or revising existing laws. Public health related laws should be science-based and protect the rights of the individual,as they also protect and promote the health of the population. Health departments have a role in educating regulated entities about the meaning,purpose, compliance requirements, and benefit of public health laws. Health departments also have a role in educating the public about laws and the importance of complying with them.

The term “laws” as used in these standards and measures refers to ALL types of statutes, regulations, rules, executive orders, ordinances, case law, and codes that are applicable to the jurisdiction of the health department. For state health departments, not all ordinances are applicable,and therefore ordinances may not need to be addressed by state health departments. Similarly, some statutes are not applicable to local health departments, and therefore some statutes may not need to be addressed by local health departments. For Tribal health departments, applicable“laws” will depend on several factors, including governance framework and interaction with external governmental entities (federal, state, and local).

Public health laws include such areas as environmental public health (food sanitation, lead inspection, drinking water treatment, clean air, waste water disposal, and animal and vector control), infectious disease (outbreak investigation, required newborn screenings, immunizations, infectious disease reporting requirements, quarantine, tuberculosis enforcement, and STD contact tracing), chronic disease (sales of tobacco products to youth, smoke-free ordinances, and adoption of bike lanes), and injury prevention (seat belt laws, helmet laws, and speeding limits). Clearly, health departments are not responsible for the enforcement of many or most of these laws. The adoption and implementation of such laws, however,have enormous public health implications. It is important for the health department to be involved in their adoption, monitoring their enforcement,providing follow-up services and/or education, and educating the policy makers and the public about their importance and impact.

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Visit PHAB's website to download "Standards and Measures version 1.5."