top of page

History of the Health Officers Association

May 15, 1951, RSA 129:1 became effective entitling Town and City Health Officers to receive the actual expenses incurred by them in attending the yearly meeting of the New Hampshire Health Officer Association.

The first by-laws for the Association were adopted October 16, 1982. The Executive Board members were: President, Lawrence Slanetz, Health Officer from Durham; Vice President, Elizabeth Millard, Health Officer from Boscawen; Secretary/Treasurer, Odyssias Athanasiou, aka "Dish", Health Officer from Portsmouth; and the Executive Committee Members were Alex Burgess, Jr., Health Officer from North Conway and Eugene Blake, Health Officer from Concord.

The Association filed with the Secretary of State on February 8, 1983 as a "non-profit organization in the furtherance of environmental health."

Today the Association has close to 175 members. It hosts two conferences a year. The Executive Board consists of up to 12 members who meet monthly.

Strategic Plan - 2023/2028

In 2022, the Board of Directors for the New Hampshire Health Officers Association (NHHOA) saw the necessity to develop a 5-Year Strategic Action Plan that includes clear goals and objectives with specific activities to strengthen the organization and define a vision for moving forward.


With assistance from the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Public Health Services, Health Officer Liaison Program, the NHHOA gathered valuable input from board members, association members, health officers, and the association’s vendors regarding the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of the association.  This valuable feedback was incorporated into the NH Health Officers Association 5-Year Strategic Action Plan 2023-2028. 


As defined in the new Strategic Action Plan, the overarching goal of the association is to “build, sustain, and empower a local public health workforce” and outlines the following 6 objectives of the association:


     OBJECTIVE 1    Build a strong foundation of leadership that will guide the membership in the implementation of the strategic action plan.

     OBJECTIVE 2    Create a conduit for strong communication between the board and membership that is ongoing, trusted, and valued.

     OBJECTIVE 3    Recruit and retain Health officers and affiliate members to build a robust membership.

     OBJECTIVE 4    Make professional development meaningful, accessible, and timely to ensure that local municipal Health officers are skilled, highly                                 qualified public health professionals.

     OBJECTIVE 5    Improve the ease of data collection on demographics, training needs, and enforcement activities of local municipal Health Officers. 

     OBJECTIVE 6    Ensure that the needs of Health officers across the state are represented in local and statewide policy development.


To implement this Strategic Action Plan, NHHOA developed six subcommittees to focus on meeting the objectives.  These subcommittees include:

  • Leadership

  • Advocacy

  • Professional development

  • Membership

  • Communication/marketing

  • Data collection


What Does This Mean for the Local Health Officer?

 NHHOA is conscious of the needs of local health officers and is working hard to elevate the awareness and professionalism of this municipal role.  NHHOA relies on efforts of a volunteer board and volunteer committee members.

 If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, please contact Wayne Whitford, President at or 603-763-4940.  Each committee meets virtually four times each year. This work cannot get done without the support of volunteers like you!

bottom of page