In 1891 the county judge was empowered by the legislature to appoint a part-time county physician to make and enforce local quarantine regulations, but in 1909 the office was abolished and the position of county health officer was established. The county health officer had to be a licensed physician of good standing. He was appointed biennially by the county commissioners' court and was charged with giving medical care to people in jails and poorhouses and to those on the pauper rolls of the county. In addition, he cooperated with the State Department of Public Health (see TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES) in matters relating to quarantine, inspection, disease prevention, and vital statistics. Legislation passed in the 1980s replaced the designation "county health officer" with "county health authority." The health authority's duties could be delegated among the staff of the local county health department.