Colorado Revised Statutes Title 25. Health § 25-1-508. County or district boards of public health--public health directors

(1) Within ninety days after the adoption of a resolution to establish and maintain a county public health agency or to participate in a district public health agency, the respective board of county commissioners shall proceed to organize the agency by the appointment of a county or district board of health, referred to in this part 5 as a “county or district board”.

(2)(a)(I) Each county board of health shall consist of at least five members to be appointed by the board of county commissioners for five-year terms;  except that the board of county commissioners shall stagger the terms of the initial appointments.  Thereafter, full-term appointments shall be for five years.

(II) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (a), a county with a population of less than one hundred thousand people may have a county board of health that consists of at least three members to be appointed by the board of county commissioners for five-year terms;  except that the board of county commissioners shall stagger the terms of the initial appointments.  Thereafter, full-term appointments shall be for five years.

(b) Each member of the county board of health shall be a resident of the county in which the county agency is located.  Appointments shall be made to the board so that no business or professional group or governmental entity shall constitute a majority of the board.  Any vacancy on the board shall be filled in the same manner as full-term appointments by the appointment of a qualified person for the unexpired term.

(c) In a county with a population of less than one hundred thousand people that, as of July 1, 2008, does not have a board of health that is separate from the board of county commissioners, the board of county commissioners may designate itself as the county board of health as of July 1, 2008.  The terms of the members of the county board of health shall coincide with their terms as commissioners.  Such county boards shall assume all the duties of appointed county boards.

(d) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs (a) to (c) of this subsection (2), a county board of health in a home-rule county shall comply with the requirements of its home-rule charter.

(3)(a) Each district board of health shall consist of a minimum of five members.  The membership of each district board of health shall include at least one representative from each county in the district.  The members of the board shall be appointed by an appointments committee composed of one member of each of the boards of county commissioners of the counties comprising the district.  The appointments committee for each district board shall designate the number of members of its district board and shall establish staggered terms for the initial appointments.  Thereafter, full-term appointments shall be for five years.

(b) Each member of the district board shall be a resident of one of the counties comprising the district, and there shall be at least one member from each of the counties comprising the district.  Appointments shall be made to the district board so that no business or professional group or governmental entity shall constitute a majority of the district board.  The appointments committee shall fill any vacancy on the district board by the appointment of a qualified person for the remainder of the unexpired term.

(c) Upon establishment of a district board, all county boards previously existing within the county or district shall be dissolved.  Upon the acceptance of a new county into an established district, the county or district board previously existing for the county being added shall be dissolved and the chair of the previous county or district board or the chair's designee shall represent the new county on the district board until a new member is appointed by the appointments committee.

(4)(a) A county or district board, at its organizational meeting, shall elect from its members a president and other officers as it shall determine.  The public health director of the agency, at the discretion of the board, may serve as secretary but shall not be a member of the board.  All officers and the public health director shall hold their positions at the pleasure of the board.

(b)(I) Regular meetings of a county or district board shall be held at least once every three months at such times as may be established by resolution of the board.  Special meetings of a board may be called by the president, by the public health director, or by a majority of the members of the board at any time on three days' prior notice;  except that, in case of emergency, twenty-four hours' notice shall be sufficient.

(II) A county or district board may adopt, and at any time may amend, bylaws in relation to its meetings and the transaction of its business.  A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.  Members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary travel and subsistence expenses to attend meetings.

(5) In addition to all other powers and duties conferred and imposed upon a county board of health or a district board of health by the provisions of this subpart 3, a county board of health or a district board of health shall have and exercise the following specific powers and duties:

(a) To develop and promote the public policies needed to secure the conditions necessary for a healthy community;

(b) To approve the local public health plan completed by the county or district agency, and to submit the local plan to the state board for review;

(c)(I) To select a public health director to serve at the pleasure of the county or district board.  The public health director shall possess such minimum qualifications as may be prescribed by the state board.  A public health director may be a physician, physician assistant, public health nurse, or other qualified public health professional.  A public health director may practice medicine, nursing, or his or her profession within his or her license and scope of practice, as necessary, to carry out the functions of the office of the public health director.  The qualifications shall reflect the resources and needs of the county or counties covered by the agency.  If the public health director is not a physician, the county or district board shall employ or contract with at least one medical officer to advise the public health director on medical decisions.  The public health director shall maintain an office location designated by the county or district board and shall be the custodian of all property and records of the agency.

(II) A person employed or under contract to act as a medical officer pursuant to this paragraph (c) shall be covered by the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S., for duties performed for the agency.

(d)(I) In the event of a vacancy in the position of public health director or medical officer, to either employ or contract with a person deemed qualified to fill the position or to request temporary assistance from a public health director or a medical officer from another county.  The county or district board may also request that an employee of the state department, such as a qualified executive director or the chief medical officer, serve on an interim basis with all the powers and duties of the position.

(II) A person filling a temporary vacancy as public health director or medical officer shall be covered by the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act”, article 10 of title 24, C.R.S., for duties performed for the agency.

(e) To provide, equip, and maintain suitable offices and all necessary facilities for the proper administration and provision of core public health services, as defined by the state board;

(f) To determine general policies to be followed by the public health director in administering and enforcing public health laws, orders, and rules of the county or district board, and orders, rules, and standards of the state board;

(g) To issue orders and to adopt rules not inconsistent with the public health laws of this state nor with the orders or rules of the state board as the county or district board may deem necessary for the proper exercise of the powers and duties vested in or imposed upon an agency or county or district board by this part 5;

(h) To act in an advisory capacity to the public health director on all matters pertaining to public health;

(i) To hold hearings, administer oaths, subpoena witnesses, and take testimony in all matters relating to the exercise and performance of the powers and duties vested in or imposed upon a county or district board;

(j) To provide environmental health services and to assess fees to offset the actual, direct cost of such services;  except that no fee for a service shall be assessed against any person who has already paid a fee to the state or federal government for the service, and except that the only fee that shall be charged for annual retail food establishment inspections shall be the fee set forth in section 25-4-1607 ;  

(k) To accept and, through the public health director, to use, disburse, and administer all federal aid, state aid, or other property, services, or moneys allotted to an agency for county or district public health functions or allotted without designation of a specific agency for purposes that are within the functions of an agency, and to prescribe, by rule consistent with the laws of this state, the conditions under which the property, services, or moneys shall be accepted and administered.  The county or district board is empowered to make agreements that may be required to receive such moneys or other assistance.

(l) To approve, as provided for in section 25-1-520 , a clean syringe exchange program proposed by an agency.  A county board of health or district board of health shall not be required to approve a proposed program.


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