By the Division of Professional Licensure

1000 Washington Street, Suite 710
Boston, Massachusetts 02118-6100

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Peter Kelly, Executive Director

Certified Health Officers (CHOs) are generally the administrative officers of a health department or board of health. Several are presently serving as administrators to the State Department of Public Health or State Department of Environmental Protection. The Health Officer evaluates the community's health issues and develops programs to address the community's needs and the prevention and control of health and/or environmental problems.

The health officer must be knowledgeable of state, federal and local sanitary codes and regulations including other public regulations addressing the public health and the environment, as well as those issues referencing communicable disease control, Title V septic system design and approval, housing, food service, public swimming pools and beaches, hazardous waste control and environmental pollutants, massage and tanning establishments, animal and rabies control and other public health issues that are governed by regulations. The CHOs perform field inspections, respond to complaints, follow up on consumer requests, and deal with issues associated with public health and environmental regulations that affect the community and the Commonwealth.

The Board of Certification of Health Officers works to maintain a high level of professionalism among the CHOs by monitoring and enforcing its regulations and policies, amending its regulations as necessary, and reviewing practitioners' records to ensure fulfillment of continuing education requirements. The Board's intent is to establish a base of knowledgeable health officers who will be able to better serve the community as well as the Commonwealth in meeting the consumers' needs relative to public health and environmental issues.