In 2020, the Massachusetts Board of Certification of Health Officers recognized the unprecedented public health emergency created by the COVID 19 pandemic and the integral role certified health officers are playing in managing the public health aspects of the pandemic. At that time, the Board adopted its “Policy on Continuing Education Requirements for Certified Health Officers to Fulfill CE Requirement for 2020.” Per that policy, a Health Officer’s participation in weekly conference calls or webinars hosted by COVID-19 Command Center and Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), starting on March 2, 2020, would be acceptable to the Board as one Continuing Education (“CE”) Credit for each call for the 2020 renewal requirement. A copy of that policy is attached and incorporated by reference into this update.
At its meeting on 3/11/22, the Board voted to extend the acceptance of DPH conference calls for CE credit in 2021, provided DPH maintains a mechanism to track attendance of each of these webinars. In doing so, the Board noted that the COVID-19/LBOH conference calls continue to satisfy the subject matter criteria for acceptable continuing education activity because the calls “contribute directly to the professional competence of the Certified Health Officer” as required by 241 CMR 4.03. To receive continuing education credit for participation in these weekly COVID 19 DPH conferences in 2020 and 2021, the Certified Health Officers should retain documentation of their dates of participation, duration of the call, topics discussed and names and qualifications of presenters, to the extent made available to the health officer. If a question arises as to whether a health officer participated in a conference call, the Board will review the health officer’s documentation and any record of the calls made available by DPH. DPH has notified the Board that as of January 2022, it is switching software programs and will no longer have capability to confirm participant attendance. Consequently, licensees should not expect to be able to use LBOH webinars attended in 2022 to fulfill their 2022 CEU requirements.