Celebrating Over 80 Years
Public Health in Person County
"Promoting, Protecting, and Nurturing the Health of Our Community"
Early public health focused on basic health care and sanitation improvements. Changes in public hygiene and immunizations are examples of early changes that have had dramatic effects on the health of the public. Today, people are expected to live longer; the estimated life expectancy in the United States is over seventy years, as compared to a much shorter typical span of life for those living a century ago. While some of these “additional” years can be attributed to bio-medical technology, much of this is a result of public health advances.
Today’s dedicated, professional staff serve the community in a variety of ways. Traditional public health programs such as environmental health, communicable disease control, and vaccinations continue as “core” health department activities. However, additional programs have become essential to the department’s support of overall community health. Most of these focus on disease prevention, behavior and lifestyle change and include maternal health, family planning, breast and cervical cancer control, and service coordination programs. Home health and hospice programs were identified as needs in the community that are provided very effectively by the health department. More recently, efforts to facilitate community collaboration in efforts to reduce health-damaging behaviors are evident in groups such Healthy Personians and the Fitness and Nutrition Club, all developed with leadership of the health department.
There are several excellent resources if you are interested in the field of public health. See our public health resources link.
Brief History of the Person County Health Department
Public health services have been provided formally in Person County since 1929. There were two employees; a public health nurse, Mrs. Ruth O’Briant, and a clerk, Mrs. Maynard Clayton. The office was located in the back of a building on the corner of Depot and Main Street. The office then moved to Court House after its completion in the 1930’s. Person and Orange Counties formally organized a district health department in 1935 with Dr. Sumner, MD as its first director.
Since 1935, the Health Department has had its office on Abbitt Street, the Kirby Building on Main Street and on Madison Boulevard in the building currently occupied by the Person Counseling Center. The Health Department moved to South Morgan Street in 1983.
The Orange-Person District Health Department expanded to become a five-county district with the addition of Caswell, Chatham, and Lee Counties. Dr. O.D. Garvin, MD was Health Director from 1944 until 1980. In 1978, Orange County withdrew from the district, and the four-county department had administrative offices in Pittsboro. The Person County Health Department was formed formally in 1988 upon the dissolution of the four-county district health department.
In October 2005, the Person County Health Department moved to its current location, 355-A South Madison Boulevard. The Department is co-located with Person County Department of Social Services and the Person Counseling Center in the Person County Human Services Complex. The Environmental Health Section of the Health Department is located at 325 South Morgan Street. There is an eleven-member Board of Health and a staff of 55 and an annual budget in excess of $4 million. Descriptions of services can be found elsewhere in this website.
Person County Health Department's Mission Statement
The mission of the Person County Health Department is to promote, educate and protect personal, family and community health; ensure a safe environment, provide and assure access to healthcare throughout life; prevent and control the incidence and spread of disease; and provide community based education and information to encourage healthy life-style choices.
Person County Health Department's Vision Statement
The result of the work of the Person County Health Department is a community that is healthy, able to reach its full potential and supported throughout life, in a safe and clean environment.
Person County Health Department's Core Beliefs
What are "Core Beliefs"? "Core Beliefs" capture the beliefs we hold about what matters most.
We value all individuals
We respect all individuals
We support and foster trust between individuals and groups
We recognize the need to balance work and family
Client and Community
We respect client confidentiality
We treat all clients with dignity and respect
We commit to the health and safety of our clients and the community
We recognize that all persons have the right to health care that promotes dignity and respect
We do all we can for those we serve
Achievement Through Teamwork
We respect and appreciate differences
We value open, honest and constructive communication
We recognize that quality emerges when individuals share a mission and values
We own up to our mistakes
We do what we say we will do
We endeavor to do the best we can
We will not compromise on what is right
We take responsibility for our own behavior