History and Organization
The Knox County Health Department was created by a citizen referendum in November 1992. On December 2, 1992, the Knox County Board of Health held its inaugural meeting at Galesburg Cottage Hospital.
The first Public Health Administrator for the Department was hired on April 3, 1993. At that time, the Health Department was located at 2320F Veterans Drive in Galesburg. The initial focus of the Health Department was to establish the four core programs required by the State of Illinois—food safety, private sewage disposal, potable water, and communicable disease surveillance. These programs remain the concentration of public health in Knox County today.
The Board of Health adopted the 1st Community Health Improvement Plan on May 26, 1994, successfully becoming a certified health department in Illinois.
The Department moved into a 14,000 square foot space located at 519 McClure Street in Galesburg in 1994.
In 1999, the decision was made to build, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the new building site in August 1999. In July 1999, the Knox County Community Health Clinic was created addressing the needs outlined in the Community Health Improvement Plan. The Clinic utilized volunteer physicians and nurses to provide services. The clinic was sponsored by Galesburg Cottage Hospital, Galesburg Clinic P.C., OSF St Mary Medical Center and the Health Department. Today the Health Department operates the Knox Community Health Center as a Section 330 Federally Qualified Community Health Center. The Knox Community Health Centers operations is governed by a client drives Governance Board.
The Knox County Health Department moved into its new facility at 1361 West Fremont Street in Galesburg on May 15, 2000.
It is still the mission of the Knox County Health Department to “Serve Knox County by assessing health and environmental needs, developing policies, and assuring those needs are effectively addressed.”