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The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

RESOLVE ESTABLISHING THE SPECIAL COMMISSION ON LOCAL AND REGIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH.

     Resolved,that there shall be a special commission on local and regional public health to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of municipal and regional public health systems and to make recommendations regarding how to strengthen the delivery of public health services and preventive measures.
     The commission shall consist of the following persons, or their designees: the secretary of  administration and finance; the commissioner of public health, who shall serve as chair; the commissioner of environmental protection; the commissioner of agricultural resources; 2 members of the house of representatives, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the house minority leader; 2 members of senate, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate president and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the senate minority leader; a representative of the Massachusetts Municipal Association; a representative of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation; a representative of the Massachusetts Public Health Association; a representative of the Massachusetts Health Officers Association; a representative of the Massachusetts Association of Health Boards; a representative of the Massachusetts Environmental Health Association; a representative of the Massachusetts Association of Public Health Nurses; a representative of the Western Massachusetts Public Health Association; a representative of the Massachusetts Public Health Regionalization Project working group at Boston University School of Public Health; and 8 persons to be appointed by the governor, 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 50,000; 1 of whom shall be a public health representative of a municipality with a population between 5,000 and 50,000; and 1 of whom shall be a public health representative of a regional service model that includes at least 1 town with a population of less than 5,000.
     The commission shall: (i) 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 County and City Health Officials, the National Association of Local Boards of Health, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and other relevant organizations; (ii) assess the capacity of local public health authorities to carry out their statutory powers and duties; (iii) evaluate existing municipal and state resources for local health and assess per capita funding levels within municipalities for local health; (iv) evaluate the workforce credentials of the current and future public health workforce as to educational standards, credentialing and training; (v) assess the current capacity of the  office of local and regional health within the department of public health; (vi) evaluate existing regional collaboration and various models of service delivery across the commonwealth, including stand-alone, shared service and fully comprehensive regional districts; and (vii) determine the commonwealth’s progress towards achieving recommendations made by the Massachusetts regionalization advisory commission pursuant to chapter 60 of the acts of 2009.
     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 and the house and senate committee on ways and means a report that includes: (i) a summary of the commission’s findings; (ii) a review of local public health organization and financing in other states; (iii) a review of the strengths and weaknesses of the local public health system as it currently exists in the commonwealth, with particular emphasis on capacity, functionality and efficiency; (iv) recommendations on organizational and fiscal models that would work to ensure capacity across municipalities; (v) recommendations on the sharing of resources across municipalities, including regionalization; (vi) recommendations to strengthen  public health data reporting, gathering and analysis, including any recommendations on mandatory reporting of local health authorities to the department; (vii) recommendations on resources needed to effectively meet statutory responsibilities at the state and local level; and (viii) 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 its final report by July 31, 2017.

Approved August 12, 2016.