Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session



Chapter 355

H.P. 953 - L.D. 1363

An Act To Establish and Promote Statewide Collaboration and Coordination in Public Health Activities and To Enact a Universal Wellness Initiative

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 2 MRSA 103, sub-3, F, as amended by PL 2005, c. 369, 4, is further amended to read:

F. Provide recommendations to help purchasers and providers make decisions that improve public health and build an affordable, high-quality health care system; and

Sec. 2. 2 MRSA 103, sub-3, G, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 369, 5, is amended to read:

G. Be consistent with the requirements of the certificate of need program described in Title 22, chapter 103-A . ; and

Sec. 3. 2 MRSA 103, sub-3, H is enacted to read:

H. Include the report cards on health status by district issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health pursuant to Title 22, section 413, subsection 3 to monitor progress in improving health. The plan must also use survey and other health tracking systems available in or to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention to monitor rates of preventive risk factors and diseases among the uninsured.

Sec. 4. 5 MRSA 12004-G, sub-14-G is enacted to read:

14-G.
Health Care Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health Not Authorized 22 MRSA 412

Sec. 5. 22 MRSA c. 152 is enacted to read:

CHAPTER 152

Public Health Infrastructure

411. Definitions

As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Accreditation. "Accreditation" means a national federally recognized credentialing process resulting in the approval of a public health system or a municipal health department by a national federally recognized review board certifying that a public health system or a municipal health department has met specific performance requirements and standards. Accreditation provides quality assurance, credibility and accountability to the public, to government officials and to public health fund sources.
2. Comprehensive community health coalition. "Comprehensive community health coalition" means a multisector coalition that serves a defined local geographic area and is composed of designated organizational representatives and interested community members who share a commitment to improving their communities' health and quality of life and that includes public health in its core mission.
3. District coordinating council for public health. "District coordinating council for public health" means a representative districtwide body of local public health stakeholders working toward collaborative public health planning and coordination to ensure effectiveness and efficiencies in the public health system.
4. District public health unit. "District public health unit" means a unit of public health staff set up whenever possible in a district in department offices. A staff must include when possible public health nurses, field epidemiologists, drinking water engineers, health inspectors and district public health liaisons.
5. District. "District" means one of the 8 districts of the department, including Aroostook District, composed of Aroostook County; Penquis District, composed of Penobscot County and Piscataquis County; Downeast District, composed of Washington County and Hancock County; Midcoast District, composed of Waldo County, Lincoln County, Knox County and Sagadahoc County; Central District, composed of Kennebec County and Somerset County; Western District, composed of Androscoggin County, Franklin County and Oxford County; Cumberland District, composed of Cumberland County; and York District, composed of York County.
6. Essential public health services. "Essential public health services" means core public health functions as defined from time to time by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that help provide the guiding framework for the work and accreditation of public health systems or municipal health departments.
7. Health risk assessment. "Health risk assessment" means a customized process by which an individual confidentially responds to questions and receives a feedback report to help that individual understand the individual's personal risks of developing preventable health problems, know what preventive actions the individual can take and learn what local and state resources are available to help the individual take these actions.
8. Healthy Maine Partnerships. "Healthy Maine Partnerships" means a statewide system of comprehensive community health coalitions that meet the standards for department funding that is established under section 412.
9. Local health officer. "Local health officer" means a municipal employee who has knowledge of the employee's community and meets educational, training and experience standards as set by the department in rule to comply with section 451.
10. Municipal health department. "Municipal health department" means a health department or division that is established pursuant to municipal charter or ordinance in accordance with Title 30-A, chapter 141 and accredited by a national federally recognized credentialing process.
11. Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health. "Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health" means the council established under Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 14-G.

412. Coordination of public health infrastructure components

1. Local health officers. Local health officers shall provide a link between the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and every municipality. Duties of local health officers are set out in section 454-A.
2. Healthy Maine Partnerships. Healthy Maine Partnerships is established to provide appropriate essential public health services at the local level, including coordinated community-based public health promotion, active community engagement in local, district and state public health priorities and standardized community-based health assessment that inform and link to districtwide and statewide public health system activities.

Healthy Maine Partnerships must include interested community members; leaders of formal and informal civic groups; leaders of youth, parent and older adult groups; leaders of hospitals, health centers, mental health and substance abuse providers; emergency responders; local government officials; leaders in early childhood development and education; leaders of school administrative units and colleges and universities; community, social service and other nonprofit agency leaders; leaders of issue-specific networks, coalitions and associations; business leaders; leaders of faith-based groups; and law enforcement representatives.

The department and other appropriate state agencies shall provide funds as available to coalitions in Healthy Maine Partnerships that meet measurable criteria as set by the department for comprehensive community health coalitions.

3. District public health units. District public health units shall help to improve the efficiency of the administration and coordination of state public health programs and policies and communications at the district and local levels and shall ensure that state policy reflects the different needs of each district.
4. District coordinating councils for public health. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in consultation with Healthy Maine Partnerships, shall maintain a district coordinating council for public health in each of the 8 districts as resources permit.
A. A district coordinating council for public health shall:

(1) Participate as appropriate in district-level activities to help ensure the state public health system in each district is ready and maintained for accreditation;

(2) Provide a mechanism for districtwide input to the state health plan under Title 2, section 103;

(3) Ensure that the goals and strategies of the state health plan are addressed in the district; and

(4) Ensure that the essential public health services and resources are provided for in each district in the most efficient, effective and evidence-based manner possible.

B. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in consultation with Healthy Maine Partnerships, shall ensure the invitation of persons to participate on a district coordinating council for public health and shall strive to include persons who represent the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, county governments, municipal governments, tribal governments, city health departments, local health officers, hospitals, health systems, emergency management agencies, emergency medical services, Healthy Maine Partnerships, school districts, institutions of higher education, physicians and other health care providers, clinics and community health centers, voluntary health organizations, family planning organizations, area agencies on aging, mental health services, substance abuse services, organizations seeking to improve environmental health and other community-based organizations.

A district coordinating council for public health, after consulting with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, shall develop membership and governance structures that are subject to approval by the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health.

5. Municipal health departments. Municipal health departments may enter into data-sharing agreements with the department for the exchange of public health data determined by the department to be necessary for protection of the public health. A data-sharing agreement under this subsection must protect the confidentiality and security of individually identifiable health information as required by state and federal law.
6. Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health. The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, established under Title 5, section 12004-G, subsection 14-G, is a representative statewide body of public health stakeholders for collaborative public health planning and coordination.
A. The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall:

(1) Participate as appropriate to help ensure the state public health system is ready and maintained for accreditation;

(2) Provide a mechanism for the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development under Title 2, section 104 to obtain statewide input for the state health plan under Title 2, section 103;

(3) Provide a mechanism for disseminating and implementing the state health plan; and

(4) Assist the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in planning for the essential public health services and resources to be provided in each district and across the State in the most efficient, effective and evidence-based manner possible.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention shall provide staff support to the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health as resources permit. Other agencies of State Government as necessary and appropriate shall provide additional staff support or assistance to the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health as resources permit.

B. Members of the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health are appointed as follows.

(1) Each district coordinating council for public health shall appoint one member.

(2) The Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention or the director's designee shall serve as a member.

(3) The commissioner shall appoint an expert in behavioral health from the department to serve as a member.

(4) The Commissioner of Education shall appoint a health expert from the Department of Education to serve as a member.

(5) The Commissioner of Environmental Protection shall appoint an environmental health expert from the Department of Environmental Protection to serve as a member.

(6) The Director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with the cochairs of the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, shall convene a membership committee. After evaluation of the appointments to the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, the membership committee shall appoint no more than 10 additional members and ensure that the total membership has at least one member who is a recognized content expert in each of the essential public health services, has representation from populations in the State facing health disparities and has at least 2 members from the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development under Title 2, section 104. The membership committee shall also strive to ensure diverse representation on the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health from county governments, municipal governments, tribal governments, city health departments, local health officers, hospitals, health systems, emergency management agencies, emergency medical services, Healthy Maine Partnerships, school districts, institutions of higher education, physicians and other health care providers, clinics and community health centers, voluntary health organizations, family planning organizations, area agencies on aging, mental health services, substance abuse services, organizations seeking to improve environmental health and other community-based organizations.

C. The term of office of each member is 3 years. All vacancies must be filled for the balance of the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment.
D. Members of the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall elect annually a chair and cochair. The chair is the presiding member of the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health.
E. The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall meet at least quarterly, must be staffed by the department as resources permit and shall develop a governance structure, including determining criteria for what constitutes a member in good standing.
F. The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall report annually to the Advisory Council on Health Systems Development under Title 2, section 104 on progress made by the statewide public health system in addressing the designated public health goals, objectives and strategies in the state health plan under Title 2, section 103. In years when a new state health plan is being developed, the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall provide input from its own members and from the district coordinating councils for public health stating goals, objectives and strategies that should be addressed in the state health plan.

The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall report annually to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over health and human services matters and the Governor's office on progress made toward achieving and maintaining accreditation of the state public health system and on districtwide and statewide streamlining and other strategies leading to improved efficiencies and effectiveness in the delivery of essential public health services.

413. Universal wellness initiative

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, the district coordinating councils for public health and Healthy Maine Partnerships shall undertake a universal wellness initiative to ensure that all people of the State have access to resources and evidence-based interventions in order to know, understand and address health risks and to improve health and prevent disease. A particular focus must be on the uninsured and others facing health disparities.

1. Resource toolkit for the uninsured. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Governor's office shall develop a resource toolkit for the uninsured with information on access to disease prevention, health care and other methods for health improvement. Healthy Maine Partnerships, the district coordinating councils for public health, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall promote and distribute the toolkit materials, in particular through small businesses, schools, school-based health centers and other health centers. Healthy Maine Partnerships, each district coordinating council for public health and the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health shall report annually to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention on strategies employed for promotion of the toolkit materials.
2. Health risk assessment. Healthy Maine Partnerships, the district coordinating councils for public health, the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention shall promote an evidence-based health risk assessment that is available to all people of the State, with a particular emphasis on outreach to the uninsured population and others facing health disparities. These health risk assessments and their promotion must provide linkages to existing local disease prevention efforts and be collaborative with and not duplicative of existing efforts.
3. Report card on health. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in consultation with the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, shall develop, distribute and publicize an annual brief report card on health status statewide and for each district by June 1st of each year. The report card must include major diseases, evidence-based health risks and determinants that impact health.

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Governor's Office of Health Policy and Finance shall provide staff support to implement the universal wellness initiative in this section as resources permit. Other agencies of State Government as necessary and appropriate shall provide additional staff support or assistance.

Sec. 6. Staggered terms. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, section 412, subsection 6, paragraph C, of the members first chosen by the membership committee of the Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health, 1/3 must be chosen for a term of one year, 1/3 must be chosen for the term of 2 years and 1/3 must be chosen for a term of 3 years.

Effective September 12, 2009

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333