The Connecticut Department of Public Health
Office of Local Health Administration and
Local Health Infrastructure Overview
The Office of Local Health Administration (OLHA) works with state and local partners to ensure that local health fulfill essential public health responsibilities statewide. The mission of OLHA is to support the delivery of public health services at the local level by assuring public health services are provided as authorized by CT General Statutes and regulations.
Connecticut’s local public health infrastructure encompasses a mixture of municipal health departments and regional health districts. Connecticut’s local public health system is decentralized. Local health agencies are autonomous and under the jurisdiction of the towns/municipality or health district served. Local health agency staff are hired and employed by their respective local health agency. The DPH Commissioner reviews the credentials of the director of health for the local health agency to assure minimum qualifications are met, pursuant to Connecticut General Statute (CGS) Section 19a-200 (municipal) and Section 19a-244 (district).
Currently, Connecticut has 69 local health agencies serving the State's entire population, 53 of which employ a full-time director of health (aka, full-time local health agency) and 16 of which employ a part-time director of health (aka, part-time local health agency). The full-time local health agencies include 33 independent municipal health departments and 20 health districts with jurisdictions spanning from two to 20 towns. Municipalities with a population of 40,000 for five consecutive years and health districts are required to have a full-time director of health. Full-time local health agencies serve approximately 3,444,364 people or 96% of the State's population.
Local health agency ordinances and regulations may be more stringent than the State’s mandates, however they cannot be less stringent or in conflict with state regulations and statutes.
Town charters and local board of health by-laws may include for provisions of services that exceed the basic public health program.
Local health agencies have the legal authority to levy fines and penalties for public health code violations, and to grant and rescind license permits (such as for food services establishments or septic systems) and to establish fees for their services.
The DPH provides per capita grants-in-aid to local health agencies meeting the requirements under CGS Section 19a-202 (municipal) and Section 19a-245 (district). DPH also provides other state and federal funding to local health agencies to support public health activities within their jurisdiction.
Full and Part Time Local Health Departments in Connecticut