Clay County Public Health Center: A Beacon of Health and Innovation for 70 Years

On September 20, 2023, Wednesday, Clay County Public Health Center joyously marked its 70th anniversary with a celebratory Open House. The inception of the center dates back to the summer of 1953, a time when the citizens of Clay County voted with an overwhelming three to one margin, favoring the levy of a mill tax. This decisive moment facilitated the establishment of a local public health department, dedicated to catering to the varied health needs of the county’s residents.

The Center has earnestly upheld its commitment to public health since its foundation, continuously offering a myriad of essential services. These include food and private sewage disposal system inspections, immunization drives, WIC, and many other comprehensive education and health programs, a testament to their sustained dedication to public welfare. 

Historically, the Center played a pivotal role in the eradication of Polio in 1954, aligning its mission with the advent of the polio vaccine. This accomplishment is etched in its legacy, highlighting its commitment to combating public health crises effectively. They would prove this once again when they historically partnered with public and private organizations in 2021 to dispense almost 100,000 doses of COVID vaccines within the first few months it was available.

Over the decades, the Center has witnessed substantial growth, paralleling the increasing population of Clay County. Initially housed within an office space at The First National Bank in Liberty, it upgraded to its first dedicated facility in 1956. In 2007, the Center relocated to its current state-of-the-art facility, better equipped to serve the growing community.

According to the US Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census, the 1950 Census revealed Clay County’s population at 44,594, including 5,485 residents of Excelsior Springs. Fast forward to today, the county’s population has swelled to 255,518, with Excelsior Springs accounting for over 10,589 residents. Remarkably, the mill tax rate has remained unchanged since its creation in 1953.

The Center distinguished itself in 2015 by becoming one of the nation’s first 100 health departments to achieve national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). This notable accomplishment was fortified with the attainment of re-accreditation in 2022. Consistently, the Center receives accolades at both state and national levels, underscoring its exemplary services in delivering health services to the citizens of Clay County.

For additional information and to explore the Center’s numerous services, please visit their newly revamped website at clayhealth.com. The Center’s enduring commitment to public health serves as a beacon of excellence and innovation, reflecting its unwavering dedication to the well-being of the residents of Clay County.

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