The first Local Health Board in Massachusetts was located in Boston and was established in 1796. As chairman of the first Board of Health in the United States Paul Revere was charged with the task of controlling filth and other causes of deadly epidemics. In 1869 Massachusetts established the first State Health Department in the United States.
Today the purpose of the public health system remains essentially the same. The Montague Health Department is dedicated to preserving and protecting the health of our population and to promoting health status improvement for everyone.
To accomplish this goal we seek to:
- Prevent illness, injury and disability for all
- Reduce health disparities and provide universal access to health care
- Provide access to nutritious food
- Provide safe air and water and to protect our natural resources
- Ensure decent, safe housing for everyone
- To remediate all sources of filth, sickness and disease.
Toward the larger goal, on a daily basis, the Montague Board of Health carries out the following responsibilities:
- Investigate and remediate health problems and threats to health
- Prevent food-borne illness by requiring all food establishments to meet certain minimum standards of safe food handling
- Prevent the spread of disease and sickness
- Investigate all complaints of filth and sources of sickness
- Work to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases such as West Nile Virus
The following is a partial list of the responsibilities of the Board of Health:
- Health care and disease control
- Ensuring minimum standards for human habitation are met (safe, clean housing).
- Remediation of all sources of filth
- Protecting groundwater by overseeing the location of septic systems and private drinking wells
- Ensuring safe food through inspectional services
- Investigate all nuisances that may effect human health and well-being
- Inspect and enforce the law regarding semi-public and public swimming pools
- Investigate all reported animal bites and scratches, and maintain a rigorous rabies prevention program
- License body artists, massage therapists, tanning salons, food establishments, septic system installers, funeral directors, septage haulers, offal haulers, recreational camps and trailer parks among others