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On November 11, 1942, the existing Health Departments within Dade County were consolidated to form the present Dade County Health Unit. The new organization completed its first year of operation on November 10, 1943. At the beginning of the Department's history the roster of employees totaled 81, including part time clinicians. War time conditions had made the tasks of finding and keeping adequately trained personnel more difficult.
In 1997, The Florida State Legislature reorganized and created the State-wide Department of Health, of which the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade is a local branch. Our Health Department represents the largest population of the 67 County Health Departments in the State of Florida and is the second largest, following Palm Beach, in terms of budget and staff. The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade provides health services to over 2 million residents of Miami-Dade County.
125 Years of Public Health in Florida
By E. Russell Jackson, Jr.
The Florida Public Health Advocate
(An article about James M. Jackson, M.D., and how he became part of Florida medical history)
By E. Russell Jackson Jr. and Glenn E. Bryan, M.D.
Health Officers in Miami-Dade County
1896------?- James M. Jackson, MD
1942-1967 - Turner Elam Cato, MD, MPH
1943------?- Dr. T.H.D. Griffitts
1968-1970 - William R. Stinger, MD, MPH
1970-1976 - Milton Saslaw, MD, PhD
1976-1989 - Richard A. Morgan, MD, MPH
1990-2000 - Annie Neasman, RN, MS
2000-2002 - James J. James, MD, PhD, MHA, FACPM
2003-2019 - Lillian Rivera, RN, MSN, PhD
2019-present - Yesenia Villalta, APRN, DNP, MSN
- Know the history of public health in Miami-Dade County through the years by reading the Annual Reports published from 1943 to the most current year.
- If you want to find out more about public health history in the State of Florida read the Annual Reports of the State Board of Health.