About Public Health
In the early 1900s, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 49 years. Today, it is about 80 years. Public health actions are largely responsible for this increase. For example, dramatic declines in infant mortality and deaths from infectious diseases are a result of improved hygiene, sanitation, immunization and communicable disease control efforts.
Clark County Public Health continues this tradition of protecting the community's health by preventing disease and responding to health threats. We influence conditions that promote health, such as access to healthy and affordable foods, clean water, health care and neighborhoods that are safe for walking and biking. We minimize the impact of disease outbreaks through vaccination efforts, early detection and swift responses.
Public Health has been serving our community for more than 75 years. Key points in our history include:
- 1929 – Clark County-City Health Department established.
- 1951 – Clark-Skamania Health Department formed.
- 1968 – Health Department moves into new headquarters on Ft. Vancouver Way across from Clark College.
- 1970 – SW Washington Health District, comprised of Clark, Klickitat and Skamania Counties, formed.
- 1997 – Klickitat County withdraws from the Health District.
- 2002 – Health District is dissolved.
- 2003 – Public Health becomes a department under the government of Clark County. Skamania County contracts with Clark for public health services.
- 2006 – Public Health moves into new Center for Community Health.
- 2008 – Skamania County Board of Commissioners votes to end contract with Clark effective December 31, 2008.