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Offices closed Monday Allen County Department of Health offices will be closed Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day. We will reopen at 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 28.
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History

Allen Health Dept

Serving Residents of Allen County

Though its name and services evolved over more than 150 years, the Allen County Department of Health has a storied history serving residents of Fort Wayne and its surrounding communities.

Historical Timeline
1843
Board of Health Created

State of Indiana passes the enabling legislation allowing for the creation of the Fort Wayne Board of Public Health.

1906
Smallpox Quarantine Imposed

A mandatory 18-day quarantine is imposed for any pupil exposed to smallpox.

Milk ad
1908
Meat & Milk Licenses

The first meat and milk licenses are issued. Milk merchants must declare the number of wagons used to deliver milk in Fort Wayne to obtain permits.

1910
Home Quarantine Rules Established

Rules for quarantining households are adopted.

Spanish flu article
1918
Spanish Influenza Pandemic Arrives

Physicians are ordered to report all cases of influenza coming to clinics whether mild or severe to the Health Department. Schools are required to send every pupil or teacher with a severe cold, cough or sneezing to their doctor.

1918
Ridding City of Rats

A health campaign to rid the city of rats was started, since the pests had "accumulated during past years when garbage collection was difficult due to war and manpower shortage."

1919
Venereal Disease Clinic Created
1935
Ordinances & Campaigns Developed

A food & beverage ordinance was written and passed for greater consumer safety. A Water Cross Connection campaign was also developed due to increasing water pollution issues.

1946
Rabies Epidemic in City

The city declares an emergency and is placed under a quarantine due to an ongoing rabies epidemic.

1949
Polio Epidemic at Worst

The polio epidemic is the worst in Fort Wayne history, with 45 cases and 5 deaths at that point.

1957
State Requires Student Immunizations

A new Indiana law requires schools to report the disease immunization records for each student. The city and county health departments also begin to discuss a merger.

1959
Public health ordinances updated

"... all health ordinances governing the operation of food establishments and food markets were revised and modernized in keeping with the technical and procedural advances which have been made in the food industry," an annual report says. "It is expected that these new health ordinances will result in the continual upgrading of sanitation levels in food establishments and food markets in the City of Fort Wayne."

1963
New diagnostic equipment provided

A "fluorescent antibody microscopy unit and a new specialized microscope have been provided" to the department's Laboratory Division to assure "improved diagnostic procedures in many aspects of laboratory analyses."

1969
Yellow Fever Vaccination Center

U.S. Public Health Service designates the Fort Wayne Board of Public Health a Yellow Fever Vaccination Center, allowing area residents to receive immunization services for foreign travel.

1969
Tuberculosis Clinic at Byron

The Board of Heath establishes a TB clinic at the Irene Byron Hospital.

City County Dedication booklet
1971
Health Department Moves Downtown

The Health Department moves to the City-County Building (now Rousseau Center) in downtown Fort Wayne. A rodent control division is established and a commercial swimming pool and beach ordinance is adopted.

1971
Rodent Control Team

Rodent Control Team is formed and expanded to become a full-time division.

1977
Mosquito Spraying Demanded

The public begins to demand spraying for mosquitoes with the emergence of St. Louis Encephalitis.

1980
In-school immunization

Parochial, private and public schools in Allen County take part in an in-school immunization effort in which thousands of vaccines are delivered.

1983
Computer terminal is installed

The Vital Records Division begins using a computer terminal to better locate records stored on microfiche.

1985
Counseling and Testing Site designated

The Department is designated an HIV/AIDS Counseling and Testing Site

1988
Food establishment records made public

Food establishment inspection records become public information "by court order," according to an annual report

1991
HIV testing and counseling continues

An increasing number of people request HIV antibody testing through the Fort Wayne-Allen County HIV Counseling and Testing Site

1993
Hepatitis B immunizations begin

Allen County is designated one of three counties in the state to start Hepatitis B immunizations in infants

1998
Department management reorganized

Health Department management is reorganized to include a health administrator, in addition to the existing health commissioner, to better serve the community. Loren Robertson serves as the first health administrator.

DOH Logo
1999
Department website launched

On Feb. 26, 1999, the health department launched its website, becoming the second county health department in Indiana to do so. A department logo, which later would be slightly changed to its current form (seen at left), also was unveiled.