The Union County Health Department is a nationally accredited health department providing public health services to the residents of Union County, Ohio. The department has 4 main divisions – administration, environmental health, health promotion and planning, and nursing (clinical services). The leadership team consists of the Health Commissioner and the division directors. The leadership team is responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Union County Health Department and reports to the Union County Board of Health.
While strong partners with the County Commissioners, the Union County Health Department is a separate political subdivision, similar to a school district, and has its own governing Board of Health. The powers and duties of Boards of Health and Health Commissioners are outlined in ORC Chapter 3707.
The Union County Health Department is primarily funded by two local levies and the aggressive pursuit of federal and state grants. To see the Union County Health Department’s annual fiscal and programmatic activities report, click here.
Mission Statement ~ Happier, Healthier, Longer Lives
The mission of the team at Union County Health Department is to provide quality public health services to all Union County residents. Our vision is for Union County to be the healthiest community in Ohio to live, work, and play.
To achieve these goals, our dedicated staff and Board of Health target efforts in three main domains of public health: healthy environments, healthy people, and community planning.
We believe that the strength of our community lies in our people and our partners – that nothing is accomplished alone. Our team works to lead local efforts to address health through infrastructure planning, policy change, rule and code enforcement, disease surveillance and prevention, and assuring access to healthcare.
The Union County Health Department was formed at the end of 1919 after the passage of Ohio’s Hughes-Griswold Act following the 1919 flu pandemic. While the City of Marysville had a city health department dating back to 1903, the formation of the Union County Health Department brought public health services to residents county-wide.
Early endeavors of the 1920s and 1930s centered on preventing the spread of communicable diseases like Tuberculosis and Typhoid Fever through quarantine measures. Disease prevention efforts expanded to food safety rules and inspections in the 1940s and vaccinations in the 1950s.
The 1950s saw many efforts focused on “the well-child” with traveling clinics in church basements spearheaded by the Union County Farm Bureau Home and Community Committee. The Well-Child Conferences became a model for the delivery of maternal and child healthcare throughout the state of Ohio. The 1960s brought about great strides in school health and school readiness for children. According to a 1963 Richwood Gazette article, Union County physicians and public health nurses hosted the first tetanus vaccination clinic in the state of Ohio at the Richwood Civic Center, inoculating 570 farming families.
The 1970s and 1980s ushered in injury prevention efforts through seat belt awareness and car seat safety as well as the AIDS epidemic. The 1990s began to pave the path for many of the health promotion programs that we still build upon today. Moving into the 2000s, we’ve seen a great expansion in public health’s use of communication tools and community infrastructure planning to help shine the light on the need for population health strategies.
In some sense, the global pandemic of 2020/2021 has brought us full circle. The great influenza pandemic of 1919 spurred the formation of county health departments. And more than 100 years later, disease prevention remains our foundational service to the residents of Union County.
Proudly Serving Union County for Over 100 Years
The Union County Health Department issues an annual report on the programmatic and financial activity of the Union County Health Department. This report is released in March of each year. The report highlights accomplishments, new or changing programming, public health laws or rules that impact the residents of Union County, and an overview of revenue and expenditures.