Board of Health


Boards of Health were established by state and local statures in the 1700's to protect the health and safety of citizens, their food and water supplies, and safe housing. As the industrial revolution changed our lifestyles, and medical research developed vaccines and drugs to counteract illness and disease, public Health Departments focused attention on Environmental problems created by our changed economy, such as air and water pollution, solid waste disposal, toxic chemicals, and natural resource protection. 

While today's Boards of Health still address infectious disease control such as TB, Hepatitis, Influenza and Pneumonia, and Food borne illnesses, much of our work focuses on environmental health issues like sewage disposal, well water supplies, lead paint and housing conditions, food service inspections, and general environmental complaints associated with our mobile society, including the development of urban subdivisions in a previously agricultural setting. In addition, the Board of Health and the Agent serve as a major agency in Acushnet's Emergency Response Team.

Authority and Enforcement:

In order to react spontaneously and effectively to life-threatening situations, local Boards of Health were given authority to promulgate local regulations and policies by the State Legislature. This procedure differs from by-laws or State statues, which must be approved by Town meeting, or the State House of Representatives. This local Board of Health can also implement and enforce state laws and regulations through enabling House legislation. Town meeting of 2003 approved Non-Criminal Disposition Enforcement, which will enable the Board to issue a summons for continued violations, thus eliminating lengthy and expensive Civil actions in Superior Court.


Staff Contacts

Name Title
Joseph Correia Health Agent
Wanda L. Hamer Clerk
Joann Demello Senior Clerk

Board Members

Name Title
Thomas Fortin Chairman
Robert Medeiros Clerk
David M. Davignon Inspector