About Us

    
    The Morgan County Health Department is the official health agency of the community supported by tax monies from Morgan County and grants from the state and federal governments, and is certified by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

    Morgan County Health Department receives direction from a Board of Health, which is appointed by the County Commissioners.  The goal of the health department is to promote health by working with the community to protect the health and safety of individuals.  Programs and services are offered based on the needs of the community.

Our History

    The Morgan County Health Department was organized in May 1922 and the office was officially opened on July 3, 1922 with Dr. R. V. Brokow as director.  The health department pledged to serve both the city and county, and was the first full-time county health department ever established in Illinois.  The first budget of $10,000 was provided by contributions from the Rockefeller foundation, the State of Illinois, Morgan County and the City of Jacksonville.  Individuals who were instrumental in the development of the local health department were Dr. Issac D. Rawlings, Director of the State Health Department, Mr. Frank Mawson, Chairman of the Morgan County Board of Commissioners, and Mr. E. E. Crabtree, Mayor of the city of Jacksonville.  Local citizens and members of the Morgan County Medical Society were also involved in establishing the health department.

    The first quarterly report of the health department's director stated  "The primary object of the present enterprise is a demonstration of the fact that the county is the logical administrative unit for the provision of adequate health service to smaller towns and rural area."  Dr. Brokow also wrote "The program is designed to meet the problems of individual and community health throughout the entire county, featuring public health education, communicable disease control, child hygiene, and sanitation."

    At its inception the health department was staffed with a health officer, a public health nurse, and an office secretary.  By 1927, the staff of the Morgan County Health Department was increased to a director, two nurses, one inspector, and a secretary-clerk.  The staff continued to serve the health education, communicable disease control, and sanitation needs of the city and county until November 1932.  It was at this time the Ayers National Bank of Jacksonville was closed, tying up a large percentage of county funds, including those of the health department.  The end result was the dissolution of the Morgan County Health Department.  Dr. Hardesty, a county physician, assumed the duties of the county health officer and at intervals a county public health nurse was employed.  The city of Jacksonville carried on with a separate city health department.  The City Health Department staff consisted of a public health nurse, an office secretary, and a sanitary inspector.  These staff members worked under the direction of the City Council's Health Committee which was chaired by a physician.  The Health Committee was an Advisory Committee of the Morgan County Medical Society.

    During the Second World War, efforts were again made to unite city and county public health care.  In 1942, with the help of Richard R. Boyd, Chief of the Division of Local Health Administration of the State Health Department, citizens of Jacksonville were able to organize Morgan County as the Morgan County Defense Zone Public Health Department.  This organization, financed by the State of Illinois, the Federal Government, Morgan County, and the City of Jacksonville, began functioning on September 14, 1942.  With the close of the war, the department was faced with the question of how to continue.  In November 1946, the citizens of Morgan County voted a special tax for the maintenance of the health department.  The Morgan County Health Department began to operate with funds provided by this special county tax levy on April 1, 1947.  The maximum of that tax provision was .05% on the dollar of assessed valuation.

    Throughout the years, the Morgan County Health Department has continued to function to prevent disease and improve the quality of life for residents in Morgan County.  The department focuses on health and well being for individuals through all stages of life.  It has been the philosophy of the Morgan County Health Department to deliver information and health care to all county residents in a manner which is nonjudgmental and dignified, and to analyze health problems and related social problems of families and individuals; to help them, with the aid of other community resources, to formulate an acceptable plan for the protection and promotion of their own health and disease prevention; and to encourage them to carry out this plan.  We continually support and encourage promotion of self care through the interpretation of the principles of healthful living necessary for all clients to achieve a high level necessary for the prevention of illness and disease.