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

These are in-person sessions only –  A virtual, remote Certificate Program will be held at a date to be determined.

Fee: $90  – Includes Breakfast, Lunch & Snacks

May 14th  –  Holiday Inn in Marlborough, MA
May 21st  –   Clarion Hotel and Conference Center in Taunton, MA
June 11th – The Delaney House in Holyoke, MA

Session Times: 8:15AM – 4:00PM for Marulborough and Taunton, Holyoke will end at 2:00PM

Register by filling out the form below the draft 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).

 Agenda – Marlborough and Taunton,  Holyoke session will be compressed to end at 2:00PM


8:15 – 9:00 am:  Registration and continental breakfast, including fruit and yogurt

9:00 – 9:30 am:  Organization of Boards of Health

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

9:30 – 10:45 am:  Proper Governance of Boards of Health as Public Bodies

  • Open meeting law – Office of the Attorney General’s Division of Open Government
  • Public records law – Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Public Records Division
  • Conflict of interest law – MAHB staff – webinar to follow by State Ethics Commission

10:45 – 11:00 am:  Break – coffee/tea/water

11:00 – 12:00 pm: How to Conduct a Proper Meeting

  • Chair’s role
  • Parliamentary procedure
  • Keeping control

12:00 – 12:45 pm:  Lunch and dessert with updates from MAHB

12:45 – 1:45 pm:  Public Health Excellence Grant Opportunities

  • Updates from the Office of Local and Regional Health
  • Opportunities for additional sharing of public health services

1:45 – 2:45 pm:  Legal Authority of Local Boards of Health

  • Authority to enact regulations
  • Authority to regulate specific activities
  • Nuisances and noisome trades
  • Enforcement authority
  • Liability protections

 2:45 – 3:00 pm:  Break with snacks and beverages

3:00 – 3:30 pm:  Conducting Quasi-Legislative and Quasi-Judicial Public Hearings

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

3:30 – 4:00 pm:  All Things Considered

    • Recent legal developments
    • Recent legislative developments
    • Where do we go from here?

Session ends at 4:00 PM.

REGISTRATION – If you have any difficulty registering using the form below, please call Lynda Ritacco at 1-508-643-0234 with your name and email.  You may also register more than one individual by calling.  You will received an invoice for the one-time fee of $90 (In-person) via email where you will be able to pay by mailing a check, using a debit, credit card or paypal.

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