Knox County Health Department celebrates 25th year

Earlier this month, the Knox County Health Department celebrated their 25th Anniversary. The department opened on November 2nd of 1992. Even though the the introduction of the department wasn’t fully welcomed by all at first, more and more of the community see the need for the department in the county. When the office opened, many issues of concerns were things like teen pregnancy, lung cancer, dental care, and above all – access of care. Today, those issues still remain, but more attention has been redirected to obesity and chronic diseases. Since the events of 9/11, health departments across the nation are better equipped for instances of an outbreak or natural disaster. Erin Olson with the Health Department tells WGIL, from community members, to doctors and local officials – the department wouldn’t be possible without their involvement. “Coming in February and March you’ll see a very big anniversary/annual report,” Olson said. “Coming this spring in April during Public Health Week, is when we’re planning on doing a big event to get the community involved and our partners. Because without them over the last 25 years, we couldn’t have done what we do without the involvement of community partners moving forward.” Olson went on to say that the “people of this community and this county made the health department what it is” so the department could have it’s own building and policy.