2022 Session Theme – Public Health Law Topics for Boards of Health and Health Departments


October 13, 2022 — Online Session via Zoom, 5:30 PM to 8:30PM

Zoom Lobby opens at 5:15 PM

This Session is an abbreviated version of the in-person sessions held in May and June, 2022.  If you want a refresher, feel free to enroll.  However, the material will be a repeat of what was covered during the 2022 in-person session.

Register by filling out the form below the agenda  

Cheryl Sbarra, JD, Executive Director, MAHB



Michael Hugo, J.D., Director of Policy &  Government Relations

Marcia Testa, MPH, PhD
President, MAHB


As members and staff of Boards of Health, a comprehensive working knowledge of public health laws, regulations and bylaws for State and local jurisdictions is a critical competency for ensuring a capable public health system.  This Certificate Program will provide you with the fundamentals of public health law so that you might be better able to understand, provide guidance, and enforce the laws, regulations and bylaws using the local jurisdictional authority granted to you as a BOH member or BOH agent.

The MAHB Legal Handbook provides an excellent text book for this program and should be used as background reading.   Through your local town and city membership in the MAHB, you should have access to the online MAHB 2022 Legal Handbook (205 pages). Click Here for TOC – Legal Handbook Please consult with your BOH Chair, Health Department Director or Administrator for your Legal Handbook access codes.  If you have difficulty accessing the Legal Handbook, call the MAHB Helpline (1-508-643-0234.) or complete the Helpdesk online form by going to Contact – Massachusetts Association of Health Boards (mahb.org).

 Final Agenda            Final 10.13.22 PDF Agenda click here

5:15 – 5:29 pm:  Enter Zoom Virtual Lobby – Please join via the Zoom link you were emailed after registering.  We will check your registration in the Virtual Lobby by matching your Zoom name with your registration name.

5:30 – 5:45 PM Organization of Boards of Health, Cheryl Sbarra, MAHB

  • Elected and appointed board
  • Removal, resignation of members, including filling a vacancy
  • Charter provisions

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Describe the difference between local and appointed boards of health.
  2. Explain the process for removing and filling a vacancy on a board of health.
  3. Describe the effect of Charter provisions.

5:45 – 6:30 Proper Governance of Boards of Health as Public Bodies, Michael Hugo, MAHB 

  • Public records law
  • Open meeting law

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Explain the open meeting law and why it is important
  2. Describe public record laws and why it is important.
  3. Describing the conflict of interest law.

6:30 – 6:45 Latest from DPH, OLRH Dr. Samuel Wong, Director OLRH

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Make priority decisions regarding the latest programs, resources and support services offered by the Office of Local and Regional Health Updates from the Office of Local and Regional Health

6:45 – 7:15 Legal Authority of Local Boards of Health, Cheryl Sbarra

  • Authority to enact regulations
  • Authority to regulate specific activities
  • Nuisances
  • Liability protections

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Describe the legal authority of boards of health to enact regulations.
  2. Describe the legal authority of boards of health to regulate nuisances and noisome trades.
  3. Develop plans to improve the resiliency of your community totoxic hazards.
  4. Explain board of health enforcement authority.
  5. Describe liability protections for board of health members and staff.

7:15 – 8:00 How to Conduct a Proper Meeting, Michael Hugo

  • Chair’s role
  • Parliamentary procedure
  • Keeping control

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Describe the role of a Chair during a public health meeting.
  2. Utilize the parliamentary procedures during a meeting.
  3. Describe strategies to keeping control of a meeting.

8:00 – 8:30 Conducting Quasi-Legislative and Quasi-Judicial Public Hearings, Cheryl Sbarra 

  • Public hearings when considering enacting regulations
  • Public hearings when considering suspending a local permit

Learning Objectives – the learner will:

  1. Describe the difference between quasi-legislative and quasi-judicial hearings.
  2. Explain the process for conducting a quasi-legislative hearing.
  3. Describe the process for conducting a quasi-judicial meeting.

Use the form  below to register for the 2022 MAHB Certificate Program.