Town Health Departments/Local Public Health on Cape Cod
Each of the 15 towns that comprise Barnstable County has its own autonomous health department and board of health that respond to local public health needs in their immediate jurisdiction. This might include restaurant or housing complaints, water quality concerns, flu vaccination clinics, emergency planning and response, Title 5 septic system inspections and plan approvals, etc. To learn more about the relationship between county/regional government and the local health departments on Cape Cod, view the information in the tabs below.
To visit your town health department website, click your town on the map below.
Barnstable County, also known as the Cape Cod regional government, provides support for the 15 towns: Barnstable, Bourne, Chatham, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, and Yarmouth. As stated in the Home Rule Charter, Barnstable County functions to “develop effective services to meet problems which cross municipal boundaries, to provide sophisticated services which might be beyond the ability of a single community to support and a desire to obtain the efficiencies and economies of scale.” Also stated in the Charter, it is NOT the role of the County to “impair, diminish or infringe upon the powers or duties of the cities and towns under the General Laws”.
Barnstable County’s Department of Health and Environment (BCDHE) provides support in the form of regional programs and services to facilitate local public health initiatives. These include public health nursing, inspectional services, the Bathing Beach Monitoring Program, the Tobacco Control Program, the Cape Cod and Southeast Massachusetts Rabies Control Task Force, the Community Septic Loan Program, the Cape Cod Hoarding Task Force, the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee, and more.
In 2004, the Cape & Islands Health Agents Coalition (C&I HAC) was established as a collaboration between BCDHE, the 15 towns and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH). The Coalition benefits from credentialed public health training workshops, ongoing environmental health education seminars, public health emergency response drills and regulatory guidance updates; all of which provide our local public health officials the opportunity to become more adept at situational awareness, public health emergency planning, environmental health oversight, and crisis management. The C&I HAC is facilitated by BCDHE staff.
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