(a) A district board of health shall be the policy-making, rule-making and adjudicatory body for a district health department and shall be composed of 15 members; provided, a district board of health may be increased up to a maximum number of 18 members by agreement of the boards of county commissioners in all counties that comprise the district. The agreement shall be evidenced by concurrent resolutions adopted by the affected boards of county commissioners.
(b) The county board of commissioners of each county in the district shall appoint one county commissioner to the district board of health. The county commissioner members of the district board of health shall appoint the other members of the board, including at least one physician licensed to practice medicine in this State, one licensed dentist, one licensed optometrist, one licensed veterinarian, one registered nurse, one licensed pharmacist, and one professional engineer. The composition of the board shall reasonably reflect the population makeup of the entire district and provide equitable district-wide representation. All members shall be residents of the district. If there is not a licensed physician, a licensed dentist, a licensed optometrist, a licensed veterinarian, a registered nurse, a licensed pharmacist, or a professional engineer available for appointment, an additional representative of the general public shall be appointed. If however, one of the designated professions has only one person residing in the district, the county commissioner members shall have the option of appointing that person or a member of the general public.
(c) Except as provided in this subsection, members of a district board of health shall serve terms of three years. Two of the original members shall serve terms of one year and two of the original members shall serve terms of two years. No member shall serve more than three consecutive three-year terms unless the member is the only person residing in the district who represents one of the professions designated in subsection (b) of this section. County commissioner members shall serve only as long as the member is a county commissioner. When a representative of the general public is appointed due to the unavailability of a licensed physician, a licensed dentist, a licensed optometrist, a licensed veterinarian, a registered nurse, a licensed pharmacist, or a professional engineer that member shall serve only until a licensed physician, a licensed dentist, a licensed optometrist, a licensed veterinarian, a registered nurse, a licensed pharmacist, or a professional engineer becomes available for appointment. The county commissioner members may appoint a member for less than a three-year term to achieve a staggered term structure.
(d) Whenever a county shall join or withdraw from an existing district health department, the district board of health shall be dissolved and a new board shall be appointed as provided in subsection (c).
(e) Vacancies shall be filled for any unexpired portion of a term.
(f) A chairperson shall be elected annually by a district board of health. The local health director shall serve as secretary to the board.
(g) A majority of the members shall constitute a quorum.
(h) A member may be removed from office by the district board of health for:
(1) Commission of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude;
(2) Violation of a State law governing conflict of interest;
(3) Violation of a written policy adopted by the county board of commissioners of each county in the district;
(4) Habitual failure to attend meetings;
(5) Conduct that tends to bring the office into disrepute; or
(6) Failure to maintain qualifications for appointment required under subsection (b) of this section.
A board member may be removed only after the member has been given written notice of the basis for removal and has had the opportunity to respond.
(i) A member may receive a per diem in an amount established by the county commissioner members of the district board of health. Reimbursement for subsistence and travel shall be in accordance with a policy set by the county commissioner members of the district board of health.
(j) The board shall meet at least quarterly. The chairperson or three of the members may call a special meeting.
(k) A district board of health is authorized to provide liability insurance for the members of the board and the employees of the district health department. A district board of health is also authorized to contract for the services of an attorney to represent the board, the district health department and its employees, as appropriate. The purchase of liability insurance pursuant to this subsection waives both the district board of health's and the district health department's governmental immunity, to the extent of insurance coverage, for any act or omission occurring in the exercise of a governmental function. By entering into a liability insurance contract with the district board of health, an insurer waives any defense based upon the governmental immunity of the district board of health or the district health department. (1957, c. 1357, s. 1; 1969, c. 719, s. 2; 1971, c. 175, s. 2; c. 940, s. 1; 1973, c. 143, ss. 1-4; c. 476, s. 128; 1975, c. 396, s. 1; 1981, cc. 104, 238, 408; 1983, c. 891, s. 2; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1077; 1985, c. 418, s. 2; 1987, c. 84, s. 2; 1989, c. 764, s. 3; 1995, c. 264, s. 2.)