On Feb. 20, 1889, the State Board of Health (now the Florida Department of Health) was formed to control devastating epidemics that were sweeping the state. Although the name and logo have changed, the mission and outcome of public health has continuously influenced the quality of life in Florida that is enjoyed today.
In 1941, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa opened its doors, thanks in part to a women's club that had been founded in 1921 by Liza Jackson, an avid community organizer and member of many civic groups. The Woman’s Club set into motion a variety of programs that had a lasting impact on the community. Conscious of health and welfare needs in the community, the Woman's Club enforced sanitation in the butcher shops; worked to eradicate fleas, dog flies and mosquitos; and hired a town constable whose primary duty was to keep flea-ridden livestock off the streets.
The women paid special attention to the health of underprivileged children, furnishing crutches and braces for those who were disabled, and providing eye examinations and glasses for those with vision problems. In 1930, the women set up a temporary clinic and brought in a physician from Pensacola to remove the tonsils of 25 children.
In 1942, realizing the need for a permanent health clinic, the women voted to sponsor construction of a new clinic building, which Jackson helped to finance and organize. Upon completion of the building, the Woman’s Club furnished and maintained the clinic, which was used by the Okaloosa County Health Department for the next 18 years. In 1954, the Woman’s Club became aware of the need for a larger health clinic and began meeting with the County Commissioners to petition for a new building. Seven years later, the present Okaloosa County Health Clinic became a reality.
DOH-Okaloosa now serves Okaloosa from two locations: 221 Hospital Dr., NE, in Fort Walton Beach; and 810 E. James Lee Blvd., in Crestview.
To protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
To be the Healthiest State in the Nation
Our Values (I CARE)
I nnovation: We search for creative solutions and manage resources wisely.
C ollaboration: We use teamwork to achieve common goals & solve problems.
A ccountability: We perform with integrity & respect.
R esponsiveness: We achieve our mission by serving our customers & engaging our partners.
E xcellence: We promote quality outcomes through learning & continuous performance improvement.