The vision of the Salina-Saline County Health Department is to be a
leader among Kansas cities and counties in effectively identifying,
addressing and anticipating community health needs.
The mission of the Salina-Saline County Health Department is to:
- assess community health status and available resources,
- develop policies to support and encourage better health,
- assure that necessary services are provided through other
entities, by regulation or by direct provision of services.
The Salina-Saline County Health Department was organized in 1955. It
is a city-county health department and governed by the Board of Health.
This eleven member board consists of two city commissioners, two county
commissioners, one representative from each of the following
associations; Kansas State Nurses Association, Saline County
Veterinarians, Saline County Dental Society, Saline County Medical
Society and three members-at-large. Yvonne Gibbons is the Executive
Director and Health Officer.
The Salina-Saline County Health Department was created in 1955 as a
joint city-county health department, located in the former Washington
High School building on Mulberry Street. In 1969 we moved to the
City-County building at 300 W. Ash, Salina, then in 1994 we moved to our
present location at 125 W. Elm, directly east of the Salina Library.
Some interesting items from the archives include:
- 1955 – Dr. Howard Wagenblast is hired as the first Health
Officer for the Health Department. The budget is $59,000.
- 1956 - Health Board recommends fluoridation of city water and
pasteurization of milk sold in Salina.
- 1957 - Polio clinics start.
- 1958 - Health Board recommends to city commission that an
adequate dog control ordinance be passed, including a required
- 1965 – Health Board discusses making food handler training a
requirement for all professional food handlers.
- 1966 – The Health Department begins a family planning program.
- 1967 – Home Health services begins at the department.
- 1969 - The Health Department moves to 300 West Ash. Fluoride is
added to city water supply.
- 1975 – Saline County sanitation code is adopted.
- 1976 – 10,500 people are immunized for Swine Flu.
- 1977 – WIC program begins.
- 1981 – Health Department accepts responsibility for Animal
Shelter from the city.
- 1985 – Health Department begins testing for HIV/AIDS.
- 1990 – A measles outbreak occurs in Saline County and over
13,000 people are immunized.
- 1994 – Health Department moves to 125 W. Elm.
- 1999 – Smoking ban campaign is initiated.
- 2002 – An ordinance prohibiting smoking in restaurants is
- 2004 – New animal ordinances are passed in the city – including
a ban on pit bulls.
- 2005 – Work continues on preparing community for any potential
public health emergency.
- 2009 - An ordinance prohibiting smoking in all businesses in
Salina was passed by the City Commission.
- 2012 - Health Department Building at 125 W. Elm is declared
structurally unsafe. Staff temporarily relocates to 625 E. North
Street and 148 N. Oakdale Street.