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100th Anniversary of Public Health in Ohio

As many of you probably know, 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of organized public health in Ohio. At the direction of AOHC, a group of central Ohio PIOs are working to develop communication materials that would be available to all local health departments (LHD) to promote the anniversary. These materials include a logo, tagline and other graphic elements, plus a sample press release, a list of public health accomplishments from the past 100 years, a list of ideas LHDs can use to mark the 100th anniversary, and a hopefully a few other pieces.

The plan is have the materials available to share with all LHDs by March 11 in time to roll out the promotion as part of National Public Health Week, April 1-7. The materials will be made available through a link in the March AOHC newsletter.

If your health department has already made plans to celebrate the 100th anniversary, these materials are not meant to supersede those efforts, but, instead complement your plans and expand awareness of the progress of public health over the past 100 years. While you are under no obligation to use the materials, we hope you will find them useful and that you are able to incorporate some of the graphics and other information into the anniversary plans for your county.  

The anniversary celebration is meant to be a yearlong event as it took most of 1919 for what became known as the Hughes–Griswold Act to become law which set the guidelines for the creation of health districts.

While the anniversary graphics and other materials are being put together, you might want to start looking into the beginning of your county or city health department. Somewhere there should be minutes of those early meetings indicating where the department would be located, who would be on the board, and how the first health commissioner was selected. If the meeting minutes are not onsite at your health department, check with the county recorder’s office. Seek out the assistance of your local library or local historical society as well as the archives of your local newspaper which should have some information about the beginning of organized public health in your county.

If you have suggestions or information that you would like to share with other LHDs, we welcome your input. One of the beauties of public health is that what works for one LHD may work for another, but most of all, we are willing to share our information so that every health department has at least an opportunity to help celebrate 100 years of hard work. To share information or an idea, please send it to Olivia Biggs, Licking County Health Department.

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