Winnebago County Health Department


Welcome to our Website!                                                             

The roots of health protection and public health go back to the earliest years of this community. The original Board of Health was formed in 1854, only two years after the founding of the City of Rockford in 1852. These founders realized early on that “no subject is more intimately connected with the happiness and prosperity of the people than the degree of public health that they enjoy” (from Lemuel Shattuck, A Census of the City of Boston, 1845).
In the mid-to-late1800’s local public health interventions involved sanitation programs to improve community living conditions in neighborhoods through nuisance abatement, refuse collection, and wastewater disposal. In the early 1900’s newer public health tools included vaccination, food and milk controls, and contagious disease reporting. In the late 1900’s there was an expansion of services supported by various federal and state grants including maternal child services such as WIC and family case management and new interventions to fight HIV and AIDS and the related resurgence of tuberculosis. There was also the recognition of the increasing complexity of disease causation (e.g. chronic diseases) that substantiated social and economic factors intimately linked to health.
Indeed, great progress has been made, yet there is more that can be achieved. We now know much more about the health of Winnebago County residents and how to improve it. This means providing you and your family with greater protection from infectious and toxic health threats and optimizing health at all life stages with an array of services including support for healthy babies, prevention of various chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer by addressing a range of contributing risk factors, such as poor diet, inadequate physical activity and tobacco use.
This website is designed to help you find information and links for nearly every health concern and contemporary health topic. Everyday, every resident of Winnebago County benefits from services provided through this Department and in collaborative efforts with many community organizations. This website aims to provide the community with information and resources necessary to pursue and achieve healthy lives. As always, we welcome your suggestions, comments, ideas, and questions.
J. Maichle Bacon
J. Maichle Bacon
Public Health Director
Links:  Mission, Vision & Values Statements & Interlocking Strategic Ends
            Winnebago County Health Department Summary of Services
Winnebago County Health Department Highlights - At a Glance...   
History of Public Health in Rockford and Winnebago County
Rockford Register Star - "Newsmaker Helps Ensure Your Health" videos featuring Mike Bacon
Biographical Sketch - J. Maichle Bacon
Healthy Community Strategic Plan 2010-2015