About Us

In 1953, residents of Lafayette County recognized the need for services to address health needs in the community and a steering committee to analyze county health problems was appointed.  In 1957 the first county health nurse was hired and the Lafayette County Nursing Service was formed. The newly formed agency entered into contract with the state of Missouri to receive public health monies. Some of the first programs were mass polio immunization clinics, first aid training, babysitting, and civil defense.  The county health nurse gave home and office visits to dispense tuberculosis medication, provide dressing and care to cancer patients, and classes in home nursing. It became the lead agency in coordinating disaster planning for the county.

LCHD Building

Immunization services were expanded in 1963 to include prevention activities for diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and smallpox.  The Maternal Child Health Program started in 1967 to educate the public about prenatal and infant health issues. In 1970 the first family planning services were offered, and the Health Office began mass immunization clinics for rubella.  1973 saw the beginning of child health screenings which included free well child check-ups for children through 5 years of age.  In 1982, a mill tax levy was established creating a funding base for the Lafayette County Health Office, and more staff was added. Home health services were provided. All previous services were continued and expanded. In 1989 a state grant program enabled the hiring of an environmental sanitarian to offer inspections of food establishments and sewer systems. The agency expanded further in the 1990s and became known as the Lafayette County Health Department.  LCHD continued all services and focused on collaboration with other agencies to optimize health services available to all county residents.  The 2000s saw a continued focus on providing health care services through collaborative funding opportunities.    A prenatal clinic was offered at the health department from the late 80s to the mid- 2000s, and a family planning clinic with a nurse practitioner providing exams and treatments operated in the mid-90s and early 2000s. As other medical service providers became available in the county, LCHD phased out these programs.  A healthcare coalition agency to further fill gaps in provider coverage around the county was formed through collaborative efforts and was hosted by LCHD. A federally qualified health center was brought to the county in 1999 and was hosted at LCHD for it's first year.

As the threat of bioterrorism and disease pandemics came to the forefront in 2001, LCHD expanded its disaster preparedness planning and activities, and hired a public health emergency planner in 2006.  The second decade of the 21st century has seen expansion into the areas of healthy lifestyle promotion and tobacco control and prevention.  LCHD continues to expand into new areas and modify existing programs to meet the needs and opportunities that arise to improve the quality of life for our citizens.