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County and Municipal
Health Departments

Act 315, Pennsylvania's Local Health Administration Law, provides funding to improve local health administration by authorizing state grants to counties and to certain municipalities which have established departments of health and meet certain prescribed requirements. Additional funding is provided by categorical grants from the state and federal governments and through local funds. Services are aimed at improving the respective community's public health via the provision of direct health services, health education and community health leadership and control. Emphasis is placed on primary and secondary preventive health services. The overall goal of these programs is to reduce morbidity and mortality among the local service population and to promote health lifestyles.    

Currently, there are seven county and four municipal health departments (CMHDs).  Act 315-funded health departments are required to provide public health programs in the areas of administrative and supportive services, personal health services and environmental health services. Act 315 was amended in 1976 by Act 12 to add support for environmental health initiatives including, but not limited to, food and water supply protection, water pollution control, public bathing place sanitation, vector control, solid waste management, and institutional, recreational and housing environment inspection.  Currently County/Municipal Health Departments cover, at a local level, 41 percent of Pennsylvania's population.  

Local Health Department Legislation

Act 315 (Local Health Administration Law of 1951)

PA Code Chapter 13, Personnel Administration in County Health Departments

PA Code Chapter 15, State Aid to Local Health Departments

PA Code Chapter 17, Standards for Environmental Health Services

PA Code Chapter 27, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases