Public Health operates very much “behind the scenes”. We’re not as visible as law enforcement or fire fighting, but we’re just as vital to the safety and well being of the community. For example, Public Health responds to outbreaks of diseases and controls their spread to prevent further illness. Public Health inspects restaurants to ensure the food you eat is safe. Public Health monitors the quality of vaccines used to immunize you and your family. And Public Health enforces regulations to make sure septic systems operate properly and pose no threat to human health. This kind of work often goes unnoticed – unless it isn’t being done. Public Health is working everyday for a safer and healthier community.
Public Health’s long term vision is “Active, healthy families and people of all ages, abilities and cultures living, playing and working in thriving communities”. To achieve this vision we provide services that:
Prevent and control the spread of diseases.
Prepare for natural and man-made disasters.
Ensure safe food, water and air.
Promote wellness and good nutrition.
Collect and assess data on the health of our community.
Issue birth and death records.
Reach out to at-risk and vulnerable populations to improve access to health services.
Support the healthy development of first time moms and their children.
Public Health has been serving our community for more than 75 years. Key points in our history include:
1929 – Clark County-City Health Department established.
1951 – Clark-Skamania Health Department formed.
1968 – Health Department moves into new headquarters on Ft. Vancouver Way across from Clark College.
1970 – SW Washington Health District, comprised of Clark, Klickitat and Skamania Counties, formed.
1997 – Klickitat County withdraws from the Health District.
2002 – Health District is dissolved.
2003 – Public Health becomes a department under the government of Clark County. Skamania County contracts with Clark for public health services.
2006 – Public Health moves into new Center for Community Health.
2008 – Skamania County Board of Commissioners votes to end contract with Clark effective December 31, 2008.