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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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Florida Health Celebrates 127 Years of Advancing Public Health

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

February 22, 2016

Feb. 22, 2016

Florida Health Celebrates 127 Years of Advancing Public Health

Contact:
Communications Office
NewsMedia@flhealth.gov
(850) 245-4111

Tallahassee, Fla. - Saturday, Feb. 20 marked the anniversary of the establishment of the State Board of Health, now known as the Florida Department of Health, to fight the yellow fever epidemic in Florida’s port cities in 1889.

“I am happy to be a part of the legacy of 127 years of public health in Florida,” said State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong. “We have made significant progress in protecting the health of residents and visitors and I look forward to future successes in our state.”

Today, Florida Health maintains 67 county health departments with 255 sites throughout the state. Take a look back at some of the major milestones in Florida Health:

  • 1889: Dr. Joseph Yates Porter from Key West became Florida’s first State Public Health Officer.
  • 1921: The first Cancer Clinic was established in Jacksonville.
  • 1944: County Health Units were designated as county health departments.
  • 1979: The Florida Cancer Data System was implemented.
  • 1997: The Florida Legislature divided the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and established the Florida Department of Health along with the Department of Children and Family Services.
  • 2007: The first “State Surgeon General” was appointed to oversee all matters of public health.
  • 2008: The Tobacco Free Florida Campaign was launched.
  • 2013: Healthiest Weight Florida launched to fight the number one public health threat to Florida’s future.

For more information on the history of Florida Health, please visit our website.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.