Leon County Health Department Turns 75

Leon County’s Health Department is the oldest to provide continuous care in the state of Florida.

In that time, it's fought the battle to prevent diseases of generations; from yellow fever to malaria, to the diseases that plague the community today such as diabetes and heart disease.

“We've gotten to a point where Leon County has moved into the prevention phase, we're doing more on the side of prevention, how to educate people, prepare themselves, how to have a healthy lifestyle,” says Homer Rice, Administrator of the Leon County Health Department.

As the diseases have changed with the generations, so have the health care challenges.

Today, the county is faced with thousands of people with no access to medical care and no insurance.

The county commission is considering several options to find the solution, next week, commissioners will debate a half cent sales tax for health care and whether it should go to the voters this fall.

“We're wanting to provide coverage for people in a way that makes sense, that is affordable, that is rational and that's fair and balanced,” says Bill Proctor, Leon County Chairman.

Another option commissioners will consider is the merger of the bond clinic and neighborhood health services. The health department is separate from those clinics and even if access is improved, Homer Rice says the County Health Department will always be needed because there will always be the need for prevention.