Local Boards of Health

North Carolina General Statutes defines both the responsibilities and the composition of local boards of health. The local board of health is charged with being “the policy-making, rule-making and adjudicatory body for a county health department.” And, with few exceptions, the typical board is composed of eleven members:

  • one physician

  • one dentist

  • one optometrist

  • one veterinarian

  • one registered nurse

  • one pharmacist

  • one county commissioner

  • one engineer

  • four general public representatives


The exceptions to the 11-member board include boards for a district health department, public health authority, and a consolidated human service agency or public hospital.

S.L. 2012-126 (H 438) extends to all counties and creates new options to allow a board of county commissioners to assume the powers and duties of certain boards, create a consolidated human services agency, or take both actions. The options are:

  • Assume direct control of certain boards by adopting a resolution abolishing the board(s) and transferring their powers and duties to the board of county commissioners;

  • Create a consolidated human services agency (CHSA) governed by a consolidated human services board appointed by the county commissioners; or

  • Create a CHSA governed directly by the county commissioners and appoint a health advisory committee.