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West Virginia has defined a legal framework that establishes a state public health system to work in conjunction with local boards of health to provide basic public health services that encourage healthy people in healthy communities. The relationship between the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health and the 49 autonomous local boards of health is based on statutory responsibilities. It is the Bureau's statutory duty to monitor the administration, operation and coordination of all local boards of health and promote the consistent and effective delivery of basic public health services statewide. The Bureau works directly with appointing authorities (county commissions and municipalities), local boards of health, and health department staff to assure this obligation is fulfilled and coordinates its statutory relationship with local boards of health through the Center for Local Health. It is the responsibility of local boards of health to provide basic public health services and programs in accordance with state public health performance-based standards and generally enforce the public health laws of this state and any other laws of this state applicable to the local board. It is the responsibility of appointing authorities to create, establish and maintain a local board of health, appoint the members of the local board and provide financial support for the operation of the local health department.
The projected revenue for local boards of health for FY 2016 totaled approximately $42,890,315 to support the provision of statewide public health services.
The programs and services that local boards of health are required to and/or may offer are defined in Chapter 16, Article 2 of the West Virginia State Code.
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