2014 Arkansas Code
Title 14 - Local Government
Subtitle 16 - Public Health And Welfare Generally
Chapter 262 - Local Health Authorities
§ 14-262-104 - County health officer.

AR Code § 14-262-104 (2014) What's This?

(a) The office of county health officer is created in each county within the state.

(b) The State Board of Health, upon recommendation of the county judge, shall appoint for each county in this state a health officer who shall serve a term of four (4) years and may be reappointed for additional terms.

(c) (1) The county health officer shall be a graduate of an accredited and reputable medical or osteopathic university, shall be licensed to practice medicine in Arkansas, and shall have had at least three (3) years' experience in the practice of medicine in this state.

(2) Time spent in the practice of medicine while in the services of the armed forces of the United States shall be accepted as equivalent to time spent in the practice of medicine in Arkansas.

(d) (1) (A) The county health officer shall serve as a key public health representative in the local community.

(B) The duties of the county health officer shall include without limitation:

(i) Promoting the use of local health unit services;

(ii) Advocating for public health policy initiatives with local and state policy makers;

(iii) Providing assistance to local public health education and promotion of initiatives; and

(iv) Establishing a regular communication process with the local health unit administrator.

(2) The county health officer also shall aid and assist the State Board of Health and collaborate with the State Health Officer and the Department of Health in county emergency preparedness response and planning including without limitation:

(A) Implementing orders of the State Health Officer if isolation, quarantine, or emergency legal measures are required;

(B) Participating in the development, review, or both development and review of local emergency plans; and

(C) Serving as a local spokesperson to media, general public, and medical community in the event of a public health emergency.

(3) The county health officer also shall support the board, the State Health Officer, and the department with any infectious or communicable disease outbreaks by, without limitation:

(A) Assisting in containment and management of an infectious disease outbreak under the direction of state public health officials;

(B) Providing prescriptive support for medication as appropriate; and

(C) Serving as local spokesperson to media, the community at large, and the medical community in the event of infectious disease outbreak based on information provided by the department.

(e) The county health officer shall make reports to the board and the department as requested.

(f) The county health officer also shall perform other duties as prescribed under rules of the board.

(g) The county health officer may receive an annual salary to be fixed by the county court, which may be payable monthly out of the county treasury.

(h) Upon the failure of the county health officer to perform the duties of his or her office, as required by this section, he or she may be removed by the board.

(i) When performing official duties, a county health officer is immune from civil suit and liability in the same manner officers and employees of the State of Arkansas are immune under § 19-10-305 and Arkansas Constitution, Article 5, § 20.

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