Investigate and diagnose community health problems and health hazards.
Mobilize public and private sector collaboration and action to identify and solve health problems.
Develop policies, plans, and programs that support individual and community health efforts.
Enforce statutes and rules that protect health and ensure safety.
Link individuals to needed personal health services.
Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
Provide research to develop insights into and innovative solutions for health problems.
The department may enter into agreements and provide consultation on matters relating to human health.
No later than 90 days after a state of emergency relating to public health is declared and the department is designated under s. 323.10
as the lead state agency to respond to that emergency and no later than 90 days after the termination of this state of emergency relating to public health, the department shall submit to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
and to the governor a report on all of the following:
The emergency powers used by the public health authority or its agents.
The expenses incurred by the public health authority and its agents in acting under the state of emergency related to public health.
Biennially, after first consulting with the adjutant general, local health departments, health care providers, as defined in s. 146.81 (1) (a)
, and law enforcement agencies, as defined in s. 165.77 (1) (b)
, the department shall submit to the legislature under s. 13.172 (2)
and to the governor a report on the preparedness of the public health system to address public health emergencies.
Powers and duties of the department. 250.04(1)(1)
The department has general supervision throughout the state of the health of citizens and shall study especially the vital statistics of the state and use the analysis of the vital statistics for health planning. The department may, upon due notice, enter upon and inspect private property. The department has power to execute what is reasonable and necessary for the prevention and suppression of disease. The department may or, if required, shall advise public boards or officers in regard to heating and ventilation of any public building or institution. The department may investigate the cause and circumstances of any special or unusual disease or mortality or inspect any public building and may do any act necessary for the investigation.
The department possesses all powers necessary to fulfill the duties prescribed in the statutes and to bring action in the courts for the enforcement of public health statutes and rules.
If local health departments fail to enforce public health statutes or rules, the department may enforce those statutes and rules. If the department does this, the county, city or village for which the local health department has jurisdiction shall reimburse the department for expenses that the department incurs in enforcing communicable disease statutes and rules.
The department shall establish and maintain surveillance activities sufficient to detect any occurrence of acute, communicable or chronic diseases and threat of occupational or environmental hazards, injuries or changes in the health of mothers and children.
The department shall analyze occurrences, trends and patterns of acute, communicable or chronic diseases, maternal and child health, injuries and occupational and environmental hazards and distribute information based on the analyses.
The department shall, in cooperation with local health departments, maintain a public health data system.
The department may conduct investigations, studies, experiments and research pertaining to any public health problems which are a cause or potential cause of morbidity or mortality and methods for the prevention or amelioration of those public health problems. For the conduct of the investigations, studies, experiments and research, the department may on behalf of the state accept funds from any public or private agency, organization or person. It may conduct the investigations, studies, experiments and research independently or by contract or in cooperation with any public or private agency, organization or person including any political subdivision of the state. Individual questionnaires or surveys shall be treated as confidential patient health care records under ss. 146.81
, but the information in those questionnaires and surveys may be released in statistical summaries.
The department may use hospital emergency room and inpatient health care records, abstracts of these records and information the state or federal government collects to correlate exposure to certain occupational and high risk environments with resulting acute or chronic health problems. If the department finds that an occupational health hazard exists, it shall disseminate its findings and promote efforts to educate employees and employers about the health hazard.
The department shall publish an annual maternal and child health report, including morbidity and mortality indicators for the state, regions of the state, counties, certain cities and subpopulations of the state.
The department may charge a reasonable fee for the analysis and provision of data under this section.
The department shall administer programs for the control and prevention of public health problems.
The department shall be responsible for follow-up investigations of unusual occurrences of acute, communicable and chronic diseases, occupational and environmental hazards, unusual injuries and unusual changes in maternal and child health.
Where the use of any pesticide results in a threat to the public health, the department shall take all measures necessary to prevent morbidity or mortality.
The department shall provide consultation, technical assistance and training regarding public health to local health departments, community organizations and others.
The department may promulgate and enforce rules and issue and enforce orders governing the duties of all local health officers and local boards of health and relating to any subject matter under the department's supervision that are necessary to provide efficient administration and to protect health. Whoever violates a rule or order specified under this subsection shall be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for each offense, unless a different penalty is provided.
See also ch. DHS 139
, Wis. adm. code.
The department may administer oaths, certify to official acts, issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of papers, books, documents and testimony. Witness fees and mileage shall be paid from the appropriation under s. 20.435 (1) (a)
, but no witness subpoenaed at the instance of parties other than the department is entitled to payment of fees or mileage, unless the department certifies that his or her testimony was material.
The department may establish, equip and operate a state branch laboratory of hygiene in a city accessible to physicians and local health officers in the northern part of the state to conduct bacteriological and chemical examinations of material from the various contagious and infectious diseases or material from suspected contagious and infectious diseases of persons and animals when public health is concerned, if suitable quarters for the laboratory are offered to the state free of charge for rent, light, heat and janitor service. The department may also establish and aid in maintaining in conjunction with the cities of the state not more than 7 state cooperative laboratories. All of the cooperative laboratories shall be operated in the manner and under the conditions that the department establishes in rules that the department may promulgate.
The department may investigate and supervise the sanitary conditions of all charitable, curative, reformatory and penal institutions, all detention homes for children and the hospitals and institutions that are organized for the purposes set forth in s. 58.01
. The department may visit the jails, municipal prisons, houses of correction and all other places in which persons convicted or suspected of crime or mentally ill persons are confined and ascertain the sanitary conditions of those places.
See also ch. DHS 190
, Wis. adm. code.
The department shall investigate any hospital which is found by a panel established under s. 655.02
, 1983 stats., or by a court to have been responsible for negligent acts.
The department is designated the state health planning and development agency.
In public health planning, the department shall collaborate with local health departments on an ongoing basis and shall consult with private sector entities, as defined in s. 229.41 (9)
, and with public sector entities, as defined in s. 229.41 (10)
The department shall provide information on the prevention, detection, diagnosis and treatment of blastomycosis in areas of this state with a high incidence of blastomycosis.
Subject to the availability of funds and to par. (b)
, the department may provide or fund emergency services or assistance to victims of s. 940.302 (2)
The department may provide or fund emergency services or assistance to a victim only for the following time periods:
If the victim is cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement agencies, from the time the victim is identified until 60 days after the disposition of the trial.
If the victim is not cooperating with the appropriate law enforcement agencies, a total of 60 days.
History: 1971 c. 100
; 1973 c. 90
; 1975 c. 37
; 1975 c. 94
s. 91 (9)
; 1975 c. 292
; 1977 c. 29
; 1979 c. 221
; 1981 c. 20
; 1983 a. 203
; 1985 a. 340
; 1987 a. 27
, 3200 (24)
; 1987 a. 399
; 1989 a. 173
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 16
; 1993 a. 27
; 1993 a. 209
; 1997 a. 27
; 2005 a. 198
; 2007 a. 116
Cross-reference: See also DHS 110-, Wis. adm. code.
Neither s. 140.05 [now this section] or regulations adopted under sub. (3) [now sub. (7)] are safety statutes that create an independent basis for a negligence action. Johnson v. City of Darlington, 160 Wis. 2d 418
, 466 N.W.2d 233
(Ct. App. 1991).
Denial, nonrenewal and suspension of registration, license, certification, approval, permit and certificate based on certain delinquency in payment. 250.041(1)(1)
Except as provided in sub. (1m)
, the department shall require each applicant to provide the department with the applicant's social security number, if the applicant is an individual, as a condition of issuing or renewing any of the following:
If an individual who applies for or to renew a registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate under sub. (1)
does not have a social security number, the individual, as a condition of obtaining the registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate, shall submit a statement made or subscribed under oath or affirmation to the department that the applicant does not have a social security number. The form of the statement shall be prescribed by the department of children and families. A registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate issued or renewed in reliance upon a false statement submitted under this subsection is invalid.
The department of health services may not disclose any information received under sub. (1)
to any person except to the department of children and families for the purpose of making certifications required under s. 49.857
The department of health services shall deny an application for the issuance or renewal of a registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate specified in sub. (1)
or may, under a memorandum of understanding under s. 49.857 (2)
, suspend or restrict a registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate specified in sub. (1)
if the department of children and families certifies under s. 49.857
that the applicant for or holder of the registration, license, certification, approval, permit or certificate is delinquent in the payment of court-ordered payments of child or family support, maintenance, birth expenses, medical expenses or other expenses related to the support of a child or former spouse or fails to comply, after appropriate notice, with a subpoena or warrant issued by the department of children and families or a county child support agency under s. 59.53 (5)
and related to paternity or child support proceedings.
Powers and duties of the department as public health authority. 250.042(1)(1)
If the governor declares a state of emergency related to public health under s. 323.10
and designates the department as the lead state agency to respond to that emergency, the department shall act as the public health authority during the period of the state of emergency. The department shall ensure that the emergency operations during the state of emergency are conducted using the incident command system required under s. 323.13 (1) (b)
. During the period of the state of emergency, the secretary may designate a local health department as an agent of the department and confer upon the local health department, acting under that agency, the powers and duties of the public health authority.
As the public health authority, the department may do any of the following:
Purchase, store, or distribute antitoxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies that the department determines are advisable to control a public health emergency.
As the public health authority, the department shall inform state residents of all of the following:
When a state of emergency related to public health has been declared or is terminated.
How to protect themselves from a public health emergency.
What actions the public health authority is taking to control a public health emergency.
The public health authority shall provide the information specified in par. (a)
by all available and reasonable means calculated to inform the general public, including reasonable efforts to make the information accessible to individuals with disabilities and to provide the information in the primary languages of individuals who do not understand English.
As the public health authority, the department, to the extent possible, shall consult with local health departments, whether or not designated as agents of the department, and with individual health care providers.
Drugs; department order authority. 250.045(2)
Except in cases of emergency, or if consent to entry for inspection purposes has been granted, the department may enter only upon obtaining a special inspection warrant under s. 66.0119
and at reasonable hours, any premises in the state where drugs are manufactured, processed, packaged or held for sale or any vehicle being used to transport or hold drugs. The department may inspect the premises or vehicle, secure samples or specimens of drugs, examine and copy relevant documents and records and obtain photographic or other evidence needed to carry out its authority under this section. The department shall pay or offer to pay the market value of any samples of drugs taken. The department shall examine the samples and specimens secured and shall conduct other inspections and examinations needed to determine whether the drugs constitute an immediate danger to health or the operations or methods of operation on the premises cause the drugs to create an immediate danger to health.
Whenever the department has reasonable cause to believe that drugs constitute an immediate danger to health or that the operations or methods of operation on the premises or vehicle where the drugs are manufactured, processed, packaged or held cause the drugs to create an immediate danger to health, the administrator of the division of the department responsible for public health may issue and cause to be delivered to the owner or custodian of the drugs, premises or vehicle a temporary order which prohibits the sale or movement of the drugs for any purpose or prohibits the operations or methods of operation which create the immediate danger, or both. The temporary order may be effective for a period of no longer than 14 days from the time of its delivery, but it may be reissued for one additional 14-day period if necessary to complete the analysis or examination of samples, specimens or other evidence.
No drugs described in a temporary order issued and delivered under par. (a)
may be sold or moved and no operation or method of operation prohibited by the temporary order may be resumed without the approval of the department until the order has terminated or the time period specified in par. (a)
has run out, whichever is earlier. If the department, upon completed analysis and examination, determines that the drugs, operations or methods of operation do not create an immediate danger to health, the owner or custodian of the drugs, premises or vehicle shall be promptly notified, in writing, and the temporary order shall terminate upon receipt of the written notice.
Where the analysis or examination shows that the drugs, operations or methods of operation constitute an immediate danger to health, the owner or custodian shall be notified within the effective period of the temporary order under par. (a)
. Upon receipt of the notice, no drugs described in the temporary order may be sold or moved and no operation or method of operation prohibited by the order may be resumed without the approval of the department pending the issuance of a final decision under sub. (4)
A notice issued under sub. (3) (c)
shall be accompanied by notice of a hearing as provided in s. 227.44
. The hearing shall be held no later than 15 days after the service of the notice unless both parties agree, in writing, to a later date. A final decision shall be issued under s. 227.47
within 10 days of the hearing. If a finding is made that the drugs, operations or methods of operation constitute a danger to health, the decision may order the destruction of the drugs, the diversion of the drugs to uses which do not pose a danger to health, modification of the drugs so that they do not create a danger to health or changes in or the cessation of operations or methods of operation to remove the danger to health.
Any person who violates this section or an order issued under this section may be fined not more than $10,000 plus the retail value of any drugs moved, sold or disposed of in violation of this section or an order issued under this section or imprisoned not more than one year in the county jail or both.
Any person who does either of the following may be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned not more than one year in the county jail or both:
Assaults, restrains, threatens, intimidates, impedes, interferes with or otherwise obstructs a department inspector, employee or agent in the performance of his or her duties under this section.
Gives false information to a department inspector, employee or agent with the intent to mislead the inspector, employee or agent in the performance of his or her duties under this section.
History: 1983 a. 271
; 1985 a. 146
; 1985 a. 182
; 1993 a. 27
; Stats. 1993 s. 250.045; 1999 a. 150
Public health nurses.