About UsJune 21, 2021

DPBHD is among the 69% of local public health agencies serving jurisdictions of less than 50,000 people. The Healthy People 2010 goal for public health infrastructure is to ensure that federal, tribal, state and local health agencies have the framework to provide essential public health services. A local public health department that is not financially sound, up to date with technology, employing a competent workforce and following current standards of public health practice can have a negative impact on the health of citizens.

Early in 1946, interested citizens formed Health Councils in DeWitt and Piatt counties to discuss the establishment of a Multiple County Health Department. In the fall of 1947 a referendum to establish the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department (DPBHD) was passed by a large majority and a Board of Health was appointed. Dr. Hal Gronlund, a dentist in DeWitt County, was elected the first Board of Health president and Dr. Corinne Eddy was the first administrator. Offices were set up in Clinton and Monticello and each office was staffed by two nurses and a secretary. One sanitarian was hired to serve both counties. On January 6, 1948, DPBHD officially opened its doors for services. The agency initially was challenged with TB, polio, smallpox, whooping cough, rheumatic fever, rabies, numerous food-borne illnesses, safe water supplies and proper sewage disposal.

The Ten Essential Services of Public Health (How Public Health Works….For YOU!)

• Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
• Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
• Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
• Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
• Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
• Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
• Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
• Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce.
• Evaluate the effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services.
• Research new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.