What is the Board of Health and what is the Health Department?

The Board of Health and Health Department, two distinct but inter-connected entities, are charged with protecting and safeguarding the public and environmental health of the Town of Bedford. The Board of Health is a statutory board comprised of five community members elected to three year terms. The Health Department is a professionally staffed office within the Town of Bedford's Health and Human Services Department consisting of the Director of Health and Human Services, Assistant Health Director, Community Health Nurse, and Administrative Assistant.

The Board of Health holds, at least, monthly public meetings and conducts public hearings as necessary; often times the Board functions in a quasi-judicial manner to adjudicate hearings for health code violations. Generally speaking, the Board adopts Regulations that provide protections beyond the minimum standards outlined in the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.) and State Sanitary Code (codified in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, C.M.R.) and sets town-wide policy related to important health issues, while the Health Department handles day-to-day procedural operations, administrative duties, and executes and enforces the various health laws and regulations. The Health Department may also be delegated as the enforcing authority for Town bylaws passed by Town Meeting, the municipal equivalent of the legislature. The Health Department, in broad terms, also works to prevent and control communicable diseases and promote a healthy community, among other things.

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1. What is the Board of Health and what is the Health Department?
2. What services does the Board of Health provide in the community?
3. How are the Board of Health and the Health Department funded?