Mission, Roles, Priorities and Functions

The Board’s mission statement reads:

The State Board of Health exists to provide leadership in planning and policy development for the Commonwealth and the Virginia Department of Health to implement a coordinated, prevention-oriented program that promotes and protects the health of all Virginians. In addition, the Board serves as the primary advocate and representative of the citizens of the Commonwealth in achieving optimal health.

The priority public health issues to be addressed by the Virginia State Board of Health are as follows:

  • Prevention and control of chronic disease;
  • Reduction of disparities in health care and health status;
  • Improvement of Virginia’s public health infrastructure; and
  • Improvement in the health and well-being of all Virginians.

The Board will utilize numerous approaches to achieve these priorities, including:

  • Facilitating public/private partnerships;
  • Coordinating and collaborating with community partners;
  • Supporting improved access to preventive and primary care services;
  • Educating the public concerning the importance of health promotion and protection policies and programs; and
  • Advising the Governor, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, and State Health Commissioner on public health policy issues.

The Board has cited the following as its core functions:

  • Review and promulgation of regulations
  • Advising the Governor on health-related issues
  • Meeting its statutory mandate as specified in the Code of Virginia
  • Identifying health-related issues and formulating policy
  • Educating its primary and secondary customers* about public health
  • Advocacy concerning health care reform
  • Advancing quality of life through improved health

* The Board identified the citizens of the Commonwealth as its primary customers. It also listed its secondary customers as being local governments, other state agencies, the Governor’s office, the legislature, corporations, and professions and local societies represented by individual Board members.