WICOMICO COUNTY, MARYLAND

EXECUTIVE BRANCH

HEALTH

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


HEALTH DEPARTMENT

In 1880, the General Assembly authorized the State Board of Health to organize local boards of health or advisory committees in every city, village, and legislative district (Chapter 438, Acts of 1880). Not until 1886, however, were County responsibilities assigned. In that year, the Board of County Commissioners was designated as the Wicomico County Board of Health (Chapter 22, Acts of 1886). In 1914, it was placed under control of the State Department of Health, which had organized in 1910 (Chapter 560, Acts of 1910; Chapter 742, Acts of 1914). Later, under provisions of the "County Health Law" of 1922, County health duties increased, opening the way for a full-time health officer in each county (Chapter 116, Acts of 1922).

From 1922 to 1929, public health services for Wicomico County were directed by a tri-county unit responsible for Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties. One health officer served these three counties until September 1929, when Wicomico County established its own public health services unit.

In Salisbury, the Health Department first was located in the Building and Loan Building on Main Street. It soon moved to the Advertiser Building on East Main Street. When the expansion of the Courthouse was completed in 1937, the Department relocated to an office there. In 1941, it moved to Locust Street next to the Peninsula General Hospital. In December 1971, the Health Department transferred to the William C. Fritz Health Center at 300 West Carroll Street. In June 1996, it returned near its original locale to the Seth H. Hurdle Center, its present location, at 108 East Main Street.

Today, the Health Department, under direction of the Health Officer, provides public health services and administers and enforces State and local health laws and regulations within Wicomico County. Programs meet the public health needs of the community and provide services not offered by the private sector (Code Health-General Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-202).

Appointed by the Secretary of Health, the Health Officer is the executive officer and secretary of the County Board of Health (Code Health-General Article, secs. 3-301 through 3-310).

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