Public health is what we do collectively to ensure the conditions in which people can be healthy. It has been defined as “The organization and application of public resources to prevent dependency which would otherwise result from disease or injury.” But it is more than that. It is about helping our neighbors take control of their health. It is about lending a hand to one in need in partnership with our community.
To promote and protect the health of the residents of DeWitt and Piatt Counties.
The DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department engages in essential public health services to promote and protect the health of our local residents. We work to fulfill the 10 essential public health services:
- Assess and monitor population health status, factors that influence health, and community needs and assets
- Investigate, diagnose, and address health problems and hazards affecting the population
- Communicate effectively to inform and educate people about health, factors that influence it, and how to improve it
- Strengthen, support, and mobilize communities and partnerships to improve health
- Create, champion, and implement policies, plans, and laws that impact health
- Utilize legal and regulatory actions designed to improve and protect the public’s health
- Assure an effective system that enables equitable access to the individual services and care needed to be healthy
- Build and support a diverse and skilled public health workforce
- Improve and innovate public health functions through ongoing evaluation, research, and continuous quality improvement
- Build and maintain a strong organizational infrastructure for public health
About Dewitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department
DPBHD is among the 61% of local public health agencies serving jurisdictions of less than 50,000 people. The Healthy People 2030 goal for public health infrastructure is to make sure public health agencies at all levels have the necessary infrastructure for key public health services. A strong public health infrastructure includes a capable and qualified workforce, up-to-date data and information systems, and agencies that can assess and respond to public health needs. While a strong infrastructure depends on many organizations working together, public health departments play a central role in the nation’s public health system. Federal agencies rely on a solid public health infrastructure in state, tribal, local, and territorial jurisdictions.
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.