For over two decades, officials at the Henry and Stark County Health Departments have showcased the many services they provide to protect the health of our communities as a part of National Public Health Week.  This year National Public Health Week will take place from April 6-12.  During National Public Health Week 2020, the public health community is rallying around a theme of “Looking Back. Moving Forward.”

     Duane Stevens, Administrator of the Henry and Stark County Health Departments notes, “This year’s Public Health Week celebration holds special significance for us as on Monday, April 6th at 7:30am the Health Department will open the doors to new administration offices and the new First Choice Healthcare Clinic at 110 N. Burr Blvd. We are thrilled to celebrate this important health observance in our new offices and by announcing the rebranding of our clinic locations as “First Choice Healthcare.”  Our entire staff is excited about this move, and are looking forward to being able to better serve the residents of this area in a more centralized, accessible and customer friendly location.”

     Stevens adds, “In addition to the usual challenges that come with a large construction and relocation project; our staff has risen to the call to conduct this move while simultaneously meeting and navigating a local response to a historic, unprecedented outbreak, the likes of which has not been seen in over a century. This does, however, focus needed attention on the value and importance of public health.”

     Stevens concludes, “People often do not realize the full impact of the Health Department’s programs and services.  This Public Health Week please take a moment to remember how the Health Department is continuously striving to create healthier communities. Our staff of 40 full-time employees are dedicated to making a difference in the health of 60,000 area residents each and every day.  This could be tracking the rise and spread of communicable diseases in our counties or working with the State and CDC in stemming and preventing outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Department is always at the ready to coordinate the dispensing of vaccines or medications, or plan initiatives and efforts to keep our residents safe through our Emergency Preparedness training and activities. Our vigilance never ends.”