Section 20.43, Florida Statutes 2009
20.43 Department of Health.--There is created a Department of Health.
(1) The purpose of the Department of Health is to promote and protect the health of all residents and visitors in the state through organized state and community efforts, including cooperative agreements with counties. The department shall:
(a) Prevent to the fullest extent possible, the occurrence and progression of communicable and noncommunicable diseases and disabilities.
(b) Maintain a constant surveillance of disease occurrence and accumulate health statistics necessary to establish disease trends and to design health programs.
(c) Conduct special studies of the causes of diseases and formulate preventive strategies.
(d) Promote the maintenance and improvement of the environment as it affects public health.
(e) Promote the maintenance and improvement of health in the residents of the state.
(f) Provide leadership, in cooperation with the public and private sectors, in establishing statewide and community public health delivery systems.
(g) Provide health care and early intervention services to infants, toddlers, children, adolescents, and high-risk perinatal patients who are at risk for disabling conditions or have chronic illnesses.
(h) Provide services to abused and neglected children through child protection teams and sexual abuse treatment programs.
(i) Develop working associations with all agencies and organizations involved and interested in health and health care delivery.
(j) Analyze trends in the evolution of health systems, and identify and promote the use of innovative, cost-effective health delivery systems.
(k) Serve as the statewide repository of all aggregate data accumulated by state agencies related to health care; analyze that data and issue periodic reports and policy statements, as appropriate; require that all aggregated data be kept in a manner that promotes easy utilization by the public, state agencies, and all other interested parties; provide technical assistance as required; and work cooperatively with the state's higher education programs to promote further study and analysis of health care systems and health care outcomes.
(l) Include in the department's strategic plan developed under 1s. 186.021 an assessment of current health programs, systems, and costs; projections of future problems and opportunities; and recommended changes that are needed in the health care system to improve the public health.
(m) Regulate health practitioners, to the extent authorized by the Legislature, as necessary for the preservation of the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
(2)(a) The head of the Department of Health is the State Surgeon General and State Health Officer. The State Surgeon General must be a physician licensed under chapter 458 or chapter 459 who has advanced training or extensive experience in public health administration. The State Surgeon General is appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by the Senate. The State Surgeon General serves at the pleasure of the Governor. The State Surgeon General shall serve as the leading voice on wellness and disease prevention efforts, including the promotion of healthful lifestyles, immunization practices, health literacy, and the assessment and promotion of the physician and health care workforce in order to meet the health care needs of the state. The State Surgeon General shall focus on advocating healthy lifestyles, developing public health policy, and building collaborative partnerships with schools, businesses, health care practitioners, community-based organizations, and public and private institutions in order to promote health literacy and optimum quality of life for all Floridians.
(b) The Officer of Women's Health Strategy is established within the Department of Health and shall report directly to the State Surgeon General.
(3) The following divisions of the Department of Health are established:
(a) Division of Administration.
(b) Division of Environmental Health.
(c) Division of Disease Control.
(d) Division of Family Health Services.
(e) Division of Children's Medical Services Network.
(f) Division of Emergency Medical Operations.
(g) Division of Medical Quality Assurance, which is responsible for the following boards and professions established within the division:
1. The Board of Acupuncture, created under chapter 457.
2. The Board of Medicine, created under chapter 458.
3. The Board of Osteopathic Medicine, created under chapter 459.
4. The Board of Chiropractic Medicine, created under chapter 460.
5. The Board of Podiatric Medicine, created under chapter 461.
6. Naturopathy, as provided under chapter 462.
7. The Board of Optometry, created under chapter 463.
8. The Board of Nursing, created under part I of chapter 464.
9. Nursing assistants, as provided under part II of chapter 464.
10. The Board of Pharmacy, created under chapter 465.
11. The Board of Dentistry, created under chapter 466.
12. Midwifery, as provided under chapter 467.
13. The Board of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, created under part I of chapter 468.
14. The Board of Nursing Home Administrators, created under part II of chapter 468.
15. The Board of Occupational Therapy, created under part III of chapter 468.
16. Respiratory therapy, as provided under part V of chapter 468.
17. Dietetics and nutrition practice, as provided under part X of chapter 468.
18. The Board of Athletic Training, created under part XIII of chapter 468.
19. The Board of Orthotists and Prosthetists, created under part XIV of chapter 468.
20. Electrolysis, as provided under chapter 478.
21. The Board of Massage Therapy, created under chapter 480.
22. The Board of Clinical Laboratory Personnel, created under part III of chapter 483.
23. Medical physicists, as provided under part IV of chapter 483.
24. The Board of Opticianry, created under part I of chapter 484.
25. The Board of Hearing Aid Specialists, created under part II of chapter 484.
26. The Board of Physical Therapy Practice, created under chapter 486.
27. The Board of Psychology, created under chapter 490.
28. School psychologists, as provided under chapter 490.
29. The Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling, created under chapter 491.
(h) Division of Children's Medical Services Prevention and Intervention.
(i) Division of Information Technology.
(j) Division of Health Access and Tobacco.
(k) Division of Disability Determinations.
(4)(a) The members of each board within the department shall be appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by the Senate. Consumer members on the board shall be appointed pursuant to paragraph (b). Members shall be appointed for 4-year terms, and such terms shall expire on October 31. However, a term of less than 4 years may be used to ensure that:
1. No more than two members' terms expire during the same calendar year for boards consisting of seven or eight members.
2. No more than 3 members' terms expire during the same calendar year for boards consisting of 9 to 12 members.
3. No more than 5 members' terms expire during the same calendar year for boards consisting of 13 or more members.
A member whose term has expired shall continue to serve on the board until such time as a replacement is appointed. A vacancy on the board shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term in the same manner as the original appointment. No member may serve for more than the remaining portion of a previous member's unexpired term, plus two consecutive 4-year terms of the member's own appointment thereafter.
(b) Each board with five or more members shall have at least two consumer members who are not, and have never been, members or practitioners of the profession regulated by such board or of any closely related profession. Each board with fewer than five members shall have at least one consumer member who is not, and has never been, a member or practitioner of the profession regulated by such board or of any closely related profession.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the department is authorized to establish uniform application forms and certificates of licensure for use by the boards within the department. Nothing in this paragraph authorizes the department to vary any substantive requirements, duties, or eligibilities for licensure or certification as provided by law.
(5) The department shall plan and administer its public health programs through its county health departments and may, for administrative purposes and efficient service delivery, establish up to 15 service areas to carry out such duties as may be prescribed by the State Surgeon General. The boundaries of the service areas shall be the same as, or combinations of, the service districts of the Department of Children and Family Services established in s. 20.19 and, to the extent practicable, shall take into consideration the boundaries of the jobs and education regional boards.
(6) The State Surgeon General and division directors are authorized to appoint ad hoc advisory committees as necessary. The issue or problem that the ad hoc committee shall address, and the timeframe within which the committee is to complete its work, shall be specified at the time the committee is appointed. Ad hoc advisory committees shall include representatives of groups or entities affected by the issue or problem that the committee is asked to examine. Members of ad hoc advisory committees shall receive no compensation, but may, within existing departmental resources, receive reimbursement for travel expenses as provided in s. 112.061.
(7) To protect and improve the public health, the department may use state or federal funds to:
(a) Provide incentives, including, but not limited to, the promotional items listed in paragraph (b), food and including food coupons, and payment for travel expenses, for encouraging healthy lifestyle and disease prevention behaviors and patient compliance with medical treatment, such as tuberculosis therapy and smoking cessation programs. Such incentives shall be intended to cause individuals to take action to improve their health. Any incentive for food, food coupons, or travel expenses may not exceed the limitations in s. 112.061.
(b) Plan and conduct health education campaigns for the purpose of protecting or improving public health. The department may purchase promotional items, such as, but not limited to, t-shirts, hats, sports items such as water bottles and sweat bands, calendars, nutritional charts, baby bibs, growth charts, and other items printed with health promotion messages, and advertising, such as space on billboards or in publications or radio or television time, for health information and promotional messages that recognize that the following behaviors, among others, are detrimental to public health: unprotected sexual intercourse, other than with one's spouse; cigarette and cigar smoking, use of smokeless tobacco products, and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke; alcohol consumption or other substance abuse during pregnancy; alcohol abuse or other substance abuse; lack of exercise and poor diet and nutrition habits; and failure to recognize and address a genetic tendency to suffer from sickle-cell anemia, diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or cancer. For purposes of activities under this paragraph, the Department of Health may establish requirements for local matching funds or in-kind contributions to create and distribute advertisements, in either print or electronic format, which are concerned with each of the targeted behaviors, establish an independent evaluation and feedback system for the public health communication campaign, and monitor and evaluate the efforts to determine which of the techniques and methodologies are most effective.
(c) Plan and conduct promotional campaigns to recruit health professionals to be employed by the department or to recruit participants in departmental programs for health practitioners, such as scholarship, loan repayment, or volunteer programs. To this effect the department may purchase promotional items and advertising.
(8) The department may hold copyrights, trademarks, and service marks and enforce its rights with respect thereto, except such authority does not extend to any public records relating to the department's responsibilities for health care practitioners regulated under part II of chapter 455.
(9) There is established within the Department of Health the Office of Minority Health.
History.--s. 8, ch. 96-403; s. 7, ch. 97-237; s. 2, ch. 97-261; s. 160, ch. 97-264; s. 1, ch. 97-273; s. 3, ch. 98-137; ss. 12, 250, ch. 98-166; s. 121, ch. 98-403; s. 9, ch. 99-349; ss. 2, 139, ch. 99-397; s. 12, ch. 2000-139; s. 81, ch. 2000-318; s. 50, ch. 2000-349; s. 1, ch. 2000-367; s. 45, ch. 2002-400; s. 2, ch. 2004-350; s. 1, ch. 2007-40.
1Note.--"Strategic plans" in s. 186.021 were redesignated "long-range program plans" by s. 42, ch. 2000-371.