Location:
HEALTH SERVICES ADMINISTRATION; MUNICIPALITIES;
Scope:
Connecticut laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


October 14, 2011

 

2011-R-0367

CONNECTICUT LOCAL HEALTH DISTRICTS

By: Nicole Dube, Associate Analyst

You asked for information on Connecticut's municipal and district health departments, including the number of full- and part-time health departments and how they are funded.

BACKGROUND

Currently, Connecticut has 75 local health departments serving the state's entire population. Fifty are full-time departments, while the remaining 25 are part-time. The full-time departments include 29 individual municipal health departments and 21 health district departments (multi-town departments serving from two to 18 towns). According to the Department of Public Health (DPH), based on the state's 2009 estimated population, full-time health departments (both municipal and district) serve about 95% of the state's population, while part-time departments serve the remaining 5%.

By law, a municipality may have a part-time health department if: (1) it did not have a full-time department or was not in a full-time district before January 1, 1998, (2) it has the equivalent of at least one full-time employee, and (3) the DPH commissioner annually approves its public health program plan and budget (CGS 19a-202a).

The following table provides more information on the state's local health departments and populations served.

Table 1: Full and Part Time Local Health Departments in Connecticut

 

#Towns

*Population

Percent

Full Time

144

3,326,803

95%

Municipal

29

1,621,725

47%

Districts (21)

115

1,685,078

48%

Part Time

25

211,485

5%

Total

169

3,518,288

100%

*2009 Population Estimates

Source: Connecticut Department of Public Health

FUNDING

Full-time municipal and district health departments are state-funded. The legislature eliminated funding for part-time health departments in 2009 (PA 09-3, September Special Session). In order to receive annual state funding of $1.18 per capita, a full-time municipal health department must (1) serve a population of at least 50,000, (2) employ a full-time health director, (3) have a DPH-approved public health program and budget, and (4) appropriate at least $1 per capita from annual tax receipts for health department services.

District health departments must serve a total population of at least 50,000 or serve three or more municipalities regardless of their combined total population in order to receive state funding of $1.85 per capita. As with municipal departments, districts must have DPH-approved programs and budgets and receive at least $1 per capita in members' tax revenue.

By law, municipal and district health departments may also use additional funds DPH receives from the federal government or other sources.

ND:ts