BOARD OF HEALTH   

OVERVIEW

The Prince George’s County Board of Health was created in 1971, however, re-emphasis on the Board of Health function was initiated in 2011 under the tenure of Council Chair Ingrid M. Turner, Esq.

Under state law, the Board of Health, which in Prince George's County is the County Council, must meet at least semi-annually during May and October. In practice, the County Council sits as the Board of Health  much more often than required to consider various aspects of local health policies and programs and a broad spectrum of related health issues impacting Prince Georgians. This was certainly the case as part of the County’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

State law permits the local Board of Health to adopt and enforce all rules and regulations concerning nuisances and causes of sickness within its jurisdiction, if these are not contrary to and are at least as stringent as existing laws, rules and regulations promulgated on the state level. The local Board of Health may also establish all fees and charges in connection with local regulation.

The Rules of Procedure used by the County Council sitting as the Board of Health are the same as those for the Council sitting as the County Council. Legislation concerning health policy and programs is also subject to the same legislative process as other legislative measures.

ROLES

The County Council sitting as the Board of Health:

  • Addresses health policy matters.
  • Calls attention to public health issues.
  • Coordinates with public health stakeholders, including the Health Officer, human services agencies, hospitals and nonprofit organizations.
  • Develops policy and/or legislative solutions to public health issues.
  • Conducts oversight of health care delivery in Prince George’s County.

 

STATUTORY AUTHORITY

Sec. 12-101. - Board of Health designated.

(a) The Council shall be the County Board of Health.

(b) The Council, sitting as the Board of Health, shall have all the powers and duties granted to a local Board of Health under State law.

The County Council of Prince George’s County has the enabling authority to act as the local Board of Health pursuant to Section 3-201(b) of the Health-General Article of the Maryland Annotated Code which states, “In a code county or charter county, the governing body is ex officio the board of health for the county, unless the governing body establishes a board of health.”

The governing body established the County Council as the local Board of Health pursuant to Section 12-101 of the Prince George’s County Code, which states:

(a) The Council shall be the County Board of Health.

(b) The Council, sitting as the Board of Health, shall have all the powers and duties granted to a local Board of Health under State law.  It is the responsibility of the Board of Health, upon reasonable public notice and consultation with the County Health Officer, to take any action pursuant to its authority, upon determining that it is in the public interest and consistent with Section 3-202 of the Health General Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland, including but not limited to the following:

(1)          Review, advise and make recommendations regarding policies related to health care facilities, health services, and public health in the County;

(2)          Review, advise and make recommendations regarding any development, enlargement or other modification of health care facilities that it determines are relevant to the County;

(3)          Review, advise and make recommendations regarding policies related to any County-funded or subsidized health clinics for the treatment and prevention of physical and mental illnesses;

(4)          Have general oversight for the health and sanitary interests of the people of the County including the investigation and study of the causes of disease, epidemics, nuisances affecting public health, prevention of contagious diseases and the preservation of health;

(5)          Promote and support policies and programs that encourage healthier lifestyles and better public health in the County, including educating the public with respect to environmental, physical and mental health;

(6)          Adopt regulations by Council resolution in furtherance of the responsibilities and objectives set forth in this Subsection; and

(7)          Enlist experts to assist in the execution of its duties.

(CB-24-1971CB-13-2017)

Editor's Note: CR-96-1978 directed the Health Officer to neither close nor substantially reduce the level of service at any health facility without the prior written approval of the Board of Health or unless clearly indicated in the annual budget.

The scope of authority of the Board of Health resides in Section 3-202(a) and (d) of the Health-General Article of the Maryland Annotated Code which states:


(a) Scope of authority. --

(1)          Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, each county board of health shall exercise the duties imposed by law on a board of health.

(2)          The county board of health shall exercise those duties in each municipality or special taxing district in the county unless the municipality or district has a charter provision or ordinance that:

(i)            Covers the same subject matter;

(ii)           Is at least as restrictive as the provision that the county board is required to enforce;

and

(iii)          Includes provisions for enforcement.


(b)          Duties. -- 

In addition to the other duties provided by law, each county board of health shall:

(1)          Meet in May and October of each year and at any other time the board considers necessary;

(2)          Coordinate its activities with the Department; and

(3)          Report to the Department on the sanitary conditions of the county whenever the board considers it important and necessary to do so.

 

(c)           Fees and charges. --

(1)          Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, each county board of health may set any fee or charge in connection with its rules and regulations.

(2)          A fee or charge for a service that is provided wholly or partly with State or federal funds that the Department administers is subject to approval and modification by the Secretary.

(d)          Nuisances; disease. -- In addition to the other powers provided by law and subject to the provisions of this article, each county board of health may adopt and enforce rules and regulations on any nuisance or cause of disease in the county.”

MEETING UPDATES

Mental Health Town Hall (November 7, 2023)

BOHMentalHealthTownHallNov23

The County Council sitting as the Board of Health convened for a Mental Health Town Hall on Tuesday, November 7, 2023, featuring a presentation from Prince George’s County Health Officer, Dr. Matthew D. Levy, focusing on County actions to address to mental and behavioral health issues, and public testimony.


CLICK HERE to view the discussion and review presentations listed to the right.


Board of Health Meeting (July 17, 2023)

BOHPrioritiesPresentationJuly23


The Board of Health held its first meeting of 2023 on July 17th,  with the new consultant, the Health Solutions Group, represented by Dr. Lakisa Blocker, Dr. Daniel Howard, and Katherine Hall, MPH, who delivered a Board of Health Priorities presentation.  

CLICK HERE to view the discussion and review presentations listed to the right.

Board of Health Legislation

Reference Number 
Type

Status

Title
CB-046-2023 Council Bill Enacted AN ACT CONCERNING THE HEALTHY RESTAURANT PROGRAM for the purpose of establishing a voluntary healthy restaurant certification program.
CB-082-2023 Council Bill Enacted AN ACT CONCERNING GROCERY STORE TAX CREDITS for the purpose of increasing both real and personal tax credits for eligible grocery stores within the designated healthy food priority areas.
CB-099-2023 Council Bill Enacted AN ACT CONCERNING COUNTY EMPLOYEE ACCESS TO LOCAL HEALTH CARE for the purpose of requiring that any health insurer contracted to offer health insurance plans to county employees include at least one health insurance plan with an inpatient hospital located in Prince George’s County in its coverage network.
CR-013-2023 Council Resolution Adopted A RESOLUTION CONCERNING NURSE PATIENT RATIOS for the purpose of encouraging the State of Maryland to take action to create a standard for Nurse and Support Staff Patient Ratios to ensure the optimum level of care for patients in hospitals.
CR-091-2023 Council Resolution Adopted A RESOLUTION CONCERNING THE COUNTY POLICIES AND HEALTHCARE OPTIONS TASK FORCE for the purpose of creating a task force to audit the county policies and healthcare benefit options for current county employees, with a focus on maternal health.
CR-090-2023 Council Resolution Adopted A RESOLUTION CONCERNING BLACK MATERNAL HEALTH Fund for the purpose of encouraging providing grants to organizations whose mission is based on alleviating maternal health disparities in the African American community.
CR-082-2023 Council Resolution Adopted A RESOLUTION CONCERNING ESTABLISHING A TASK FORCE TO ADDRESS HOSPITAL EMERGENCY ROOM WAIT TIMES for the purpose of establishing the task force on reducing hospital emergency room wait times to study best practices and make recommendations for reducing emergency room wait times; and generally relating to the task force on reducing emergency room wait times.