The Office of the General Counsel is the legal office for the Department of Public Health and includes the Public Health Hearing Office, the Ethics Officer, the HIPAA Privacy Officer, and the Attorney General Designee.
The General Counsel is responsible for overseeing the legal activities of the office and for providing legal support and counsel for the commissioner and agency.
The Public Health Hearing Office provides legal and administrative support for 14 professional licensing boards (e.g., the Connecticut Medical Examining Board, Board of Examiners for Nursing, etc.), and presides over hearings and renders decisions concerning:
- Individual licensing actions for providers who do not have licensing boards
- Appeals of orders issued by local health directors
- The Women, Infants and Children’s (WIC) program
- The need for new or expanded emergency medical services
- Disciplinary actions against day care, youth camp licensees, and health care facility licensees (e.g., long term care facilities)
- Voluntary and involuntary transfers of water companies/appeals of orders issued to water companies
- Involuntary discharges from residential care homes
The Hearing Office also maintains indices and the originals of all department decisions, and reports to federally mandated and private professional databases.
The Ethics Officer responds to ethics questions, provides training, conducts investigations, and makes referrals, as necessary; the HIPAA Privacy Officer conducts privacy training, responds to requests for personally identifiable health information, and generally ensures HIPAA compliance; and, the Attorney General Designee represents the department in cases before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO).