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Local Health Departments

The Office of Local Health Department Support, as well as many other offices and bureaus at the Department, work closely with local health departments to carry out the mission of public health in Ohio. The Office of Local Health Department Support works with local health departments by:

Good public health policies require dedicated champions and strong partnerships. The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is fortunate to have both in the 123 local health departments which serve the citizens of Ohio.  The public health system in Ohio is comprised of the ODH, local public health departments, and other partners such as health care providers and public health associations that work together to promote and protect the health of Ohioans. Click here for a review of public health in Ohio.

It is critical Ohio recognize the important role local public health serves in the state. In Ohio, local health departments- like school districts- maintain independent governance, but often work together, along with the state and federal public health agencies.

Depending on the type of health district (county or city jurisdiction MAP) funding comes from the support of their community through levies, city general operating funds, contracts, county government and/or what is known as “inside millage.” To help support local health departments, ODH receives funds from federal agencies, state general revenue, and other sources and distributes many of these funds through contracts and grants that contribute toward public health programs and services. ODH also provides technical support, laboratory services, an IT communication network, and other critical services to aid local health department efforts.

To profile local health departments here are a few highlights as reported for 2013:

  • 36 city health departments
  • 88 combined/general health districts
    • 23 counties with more than one health department
    • 61 cities contract for public health services with local health departments 
  • 4,789 full-time equivalent staff (FTEs) total
  • Core staff include: 
    • 956 Nurses
    • 726 Sanitarians
    • 156 Health Educators
    • 57 Epidemiologists

Local health departments strive to promote health by preventing and controlling disease, injury and disability. Local health departments play a vital role in responding to public health issues providing significant public value in terms of dollars and lives saved. On a more day-to-day basis, depending on the size and budget of a local health department, services may include environmental health programs, immunization clinics, well-baby visits, pre-natal, health screenings, dental, health promotion activities, disease surveillance and other services and programs.

Last updated: 0213/2015