Public Health regulations play an important role in attaining public health goals; they serve as a foundation for governmental public health activities. Many of public health’s greatest successes are due to public health regulations, including high childhood immunization rates, improved motor vehicle safety, safer workplaces, and reduced tooth decay. Public Health regulations will continue to play an important role as we address emerging public health threats such as childhood obesity, healthcare-associated infections, motor vehicle injuries, and prescription drug overdoses.
- KRS 194A.010 , establishes the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as “the primary state agency for operating the public health, Medicaid, certificate of need and licensure, and mental health and intellectual disability programs in the Commonwealth. The function of the cabinet is to improve the health of all Kentuckians, including the delivery of population, preventative, reparative, and containment health services in a safe and effective fashion, and to improve the functional capabilities and opportunities of Kentuckians with disabilities.”
- KRS 194A.030 , authorizes the Department for Public Health to develop and operate all programs of the cabinet that provide health services and all programs for assessing the health status of the population for the promotion of health and prevention of disease, injury, disability, and premature death.
- KRS 212.240 , requires that county departments of health shall: “(1) Administer and enforce in the county and in all cities and towns situated therein, except as otherwise provided by law, all applicable public health laws of the Commonwealth and all of the rules and regulations of the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family services and county board of health issued thereunder, (2) Under the general supervision of the county board of health and the Cabinet for health and Family Services, formulate, promote, establish, and execute policies, plans and programs to safeguard the health of the people of the county and establish, maintain, implement, promote, and conduct facilities and services for the purpose of protecting the public health.”
902 KAR 8:160 , establishes minimum administrative and operational requirements for Kentucky’s local health departments.
The authority of core activities exists in the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s statutes or regulations. The authority for preventative services is found in state budget language and in grants and contracts with agencies of the United States Public Health Services. These preventive patient services were added as state and federal governments appropriated the funds. Cumberland Valley District Health Department’s mandated services as a Kentucky Public Health Department:
Seven Core Services required by Kentucky Revised Statute or Administrative Regulation
- Enforcement of Public Health Regulation. Local health departments enforce public health regulations by providing oversight, education, and assurance of compliance with federal, state, and local public health laws designed to protect and promote the health of the public. The scope of regulations includes sanitation and safety, vital statistics, medical enforcement, city and county ordinances, and local boards of health regulations. KRS Chapter 39A , KRS 224.1-410, 902 KAR 47:200, 902 KAR 2:020, KRS 211.660, KRS 211.180, KRS 211.905, KRS 213.036, KRS 211.190, 211.990. Food Service: KRS 217.215, KRS 217.125, KRS 217.380, KRS 217.155. Public Facilities: KRS 211.925, KRS 219.021, KRS 219.031. Parks for Mobile Homes and Recreational Vehicles: KRS 219.340, KRS 219.370, KRS 219.380, KRS 211.760. On-Site Sewage (subsurface discharge sewage): KRS 211.350, KRS 211.355, KRS 211.370. Matters related to vector control, rabies control, septic tank pumpers, private water and public health nuisances: KRS 211.350, KRS 211.345, KRS 212.210, KRS 258.075, KRS 211.980.
- Surveillance of Public Health. Surveillance is a process of monitoring public health conditions by the ongoing collection, analysis, and sharing of information. The data gained from surveillance are used to develop programs to improve wellbeing and health in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 902 KAR 2:020, KRS 211.902.
- Communicable Disease Control. Communicable disease control is the process through which local health departments prevent the spread of infectious disease. The key activities include immunizations, investigations and treatment of outbreaks, and public education. Statutory Authority: KRS 194A.050, KRS 211.090, KRS 211.180, KRS 214.010. Kentucky Administrative Regulations (KAR) and Revised Statutes related to Communicable/Reportable Disease Services: 902 KAR Chapter 2 – Communicable Diseases: KRS 158.035, KRS 158.037, KRS 212.210, KRS214.181, KRS 214.034, KRS 214.036, KRS 214.645, KRS 214.990, KRS 215.520, KRS215.560, KRS 258:065, KRS 258.075.
- Public Health Education. A local health department informs and educates individuals, groups, and communities about good health in order to promote healthy lifestyle choices and mitigate health risks. Public health education also provides critical information that safeguards health and safety in response to disasters or other health crises. KRS 211.180, KRS 211.190, KRS 211.904.
- Public Health Policy. Public Health policy encompasses the broad standards and framework that govern a community’s public health activities. Policies are based on data from surveillance and the public’s directives, usually from public officials, based on that information. Policies are often initiated at the national level but defined and refined to meet needs identified at the state and local levels. 902 KAR 8:160, KRS 194A.050, KRS 211.005, KRS 211.170, KRS 211.180, KRS 211.901 , KRS212.210, KRS 212.230, KRS 212.240.
- Families and Children Risk Reduction. Local health departments reduce health risks and problems in the community by identifying and providing needed services or referring individuals to other appropriate providers. 902 KAR 4:100, 902 KAR 4:120, KRS 194A.050, KRS 211.180, KRS 211.690, KRS 214.554 , KRS 214.187, KRS211.901 and KRS 211.903.
- Disaster Preparedness. In collaboration with other disaster and emergency service providers, health departments develop and maintain policies and procedures for responding to disasters. While communities may never actually experience a disaster, some level of preparation is required. KRS Chapter 39A.
Kentucky Revised Statutes and Administrative Regulations for Six Preventative Services for Specific Populations from Appropriated Funds:
- Family Planning. Local health departments provide family planning services that consist of educational, medical, and social services to help individuals voluntarily determine the number and spacing of their pregnancies and children. 902 KAR 4:050, KRS 211.090, KRS 211.190, KRS 211.180, KRS 214.185, KRS 211.280.
- Prenatal Care. Local health departments provide prenatal care prior to pregnancy, during pregnancy, and for six weeks after pregnancy to promote the physical and mental well-being of the pregnant woman and her infant and family. KRS 194A.050, 902 KAR 4:100, 902 KAR 4:120, KRS 211.690, KRS 211.180.
- Well Child Care. A local department provides a series of preventive health check-ups for children from birth through 20 years of age who are not receiving well child care from another health provider. 902 KAR 4:100, KRS 211.180.
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The local health department provides nutrition education and healthy foods for pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-delivery women, as well as infants and children who meet income and health risk guidelines. 902 KAR 18:021, KRS 194A.050, KRS 211.090, KRS 211.180.
- Adult Preventive Services. Local health departments provide or arrange for age-appropriate health screenings or services for eligible adults as requested by the individual. Services may include a partial or complete health screening. KRS 211.180.
- Chronic Disease Monitoring and Support. Local health departments provide screening for certain chronic diseases, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. The local health department also provides follow-up education and support for people with these conditions. KRS 211.180.