Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after Section 27C the following section:-
Section 27D. There is established on the books of the Commonwealth a special commission on local and regional public health. The purpose of the commission shall be to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal and regional public health systems in Massachusetts and to make recommendations to strengthen the delivery of public health services and preventive measures.
The commission shall consist of 21 members, which shall include the chief executive officer or their designees of the following agencies: the executive office of administration and finance; the department of public health, who shall serve as chair of the commission; the department of environmental protection; the Massachusetts municipal association; the Massachusetts taxpayers foundation; the Massachusetts public health association; the Massachusetts health officers association; the Massachusetts association of health boards; the Massachusetts environmental health association; the Massachusetts association of public health nurses; the western Massachusetts public health association; and the Massachusetts public health regionalization project working group.
The Governor of the Commonwealth shall appoint 7 members of the commission: 1 of whom shall be a representative of a research or academic institution with experience in public health data collection and analysis; 1 of whom shall be a representative of a community health center; 1 of whom shall be a representative of a hospital system; 1 of whom shall have expertise in public health workforce development; 1 of whom shall be a public health representative of a municipality with a population greater than 75,000; 1 of whom shall be a public health representative of a municipality with a population between 5,000 and 75,000; and 1 of whom shall be a public health representative of a municipality with a population less than 5,000. At least two members of the commission shall be representatives from municipalities with regional service models. One member of the commission shall be a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, who shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House; one member shall be a member of the Massachusetts Senate, who shall be appointed by the Senate President.
The commission shall: examine the capacity of local and regional public health authorities in comparison to national public health standards and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Public Health Accreditation Board, the National Association of City and County Health Officials, the National Association of Local Boards of Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, and other relevant organizations; assess the capacity of local public health authorities to carry out statutory responsibilities and powers under Massachusetts law; evaluate existing municipal and state resources for local health and assess per capita funding levels within municipalities for local health; evaluate the workforce credentials of current and future public health workforce as to educational standards, credentialing and training; assess the current capacity of the office of local and regional health within the department of public health; evaluate existing regional collaboration and various models of service delivery across the Commonwealth, including standalone, shared service, and fully comprehensive regional districts; determine the Commonwealth’s progress towards achieving recommendations made by the Massachusetts Regionalization Advisory Commission in 2010.
The commission may solicit public input through public hearings and testimony.
The commission shall prepare and submit to the Governor, the Joint Committee on Public Health, the House Committee on Ways and Means, and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, a report that includes: a summary of the commission’s findings; a review of local public health organization and financing in other states; a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the local public health system as it currently exists in Massachusetts, with particular attention to capacity, functionality, and efficiency; recommendations on organizational and fiscal models that would work to ensure capacity across municipalities; recommendations on the sharing of resources across municipalities, including regionalization; recommendations to strengthen public health data reporting, gathering, and analysis, including any recommendations on mandatory reporting of local health authorities to the department; recommendations on whether dedicated funding streams should be established at the state and local level; and recommendations to strengthen the local public health workforce and ensure training of the next generation of local public health professionals, including leveraging academic partnerships.
The commission shall submit a final report by July 31, 2017.
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