Greendale About the Health Department

About the Health Department

Our Vision and Mission
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Where We Started

The Greendale Health Department was established in 1939 at its first location, a one-room office in the Village Hall. Cecilia Hensley R.N. was the department’s initial hire as Greendale’s first school nurse. As the population and the health needs increased, she became the first Village Nurse.

In 1941, Dr. Ralph Barnes joined the Health Department. He and Ms. Hensley started a Well Baby Clinic providing examinations, counseling, and immunizations. The staff continued to grow with the hiring of Dr. Eli Gecht, who joined the staff and became the first Health Officer in 1951, and Elaine Miller R.N. as the first Public Health Nurse Administrator in 1962.

Ms. Miller expanded the Health Department to meet the needs of a rapidly growing community through communicable disease control, immunizations, health promotion and disease prevention, maternal and child health programs, screening programs, school health and community education. Many of these programs are still in existence in some form today.

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In the spring of 1989 the Village board purchased Drews Dime Store Building, originally built in 1938 as a food, variety and drug store cooperative. This would be the new site for the public library, the Greendale Health Department, the Greendale Historical Society and a community meeting room. The building was to be known as the Municipal building. This building is now known as the Community Learning Center and houses the Library, the Health department, and Park and Recreation. 

The goal of public health is to promote the highest level of well- being for all groups of people in the community. Greendale Health Department provides a variety of programs and services aimed at preventing or reducing health problems and promoting optimum health for individuals, families, and the community.  Health Department services are available to all residents of the Village of Greendale. 

The role of the Health Department is to protect against environmental hazards, prevent epidemics and spread of disease, promote and encourage healthy behaviors, respond to disasters and assist in recovery, prevent injuries and protect the community, assure quality and access to health  services.
The Health Department partners with many community groups, that encourage physical activity, nutrition, support innovative ideas to promote healthy aging,  reduce youth use of alcohol and marijuana, and to reduce social addiction-related stigma. 

Congratulations Greendale!

The Greendale Health Department achieves Level III status, meeting the maximum requirements established by the State of Wisconsin for a local health department!  “This achievement indicates a high level of commitment to providing quality health services in the Village of Greendale,” said Susan Shepeard, Greendale’s Health Officer.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is required to evaluate the operations of all 88 Wisconsin local health departments at a minimum of every five years.  The review establishes the health department as a level I, II or III agency.  A level I department meets the minimum requirements and a level III department meets the maximum requirements established for a local health department. 

State Health Officials identified many services that excel at the Greendale Health Department, including the Radon, Lead Poisoning Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, and the Emergency Preparedness programs. Additionally, State Health Officials commended the Greendale Health Department on their strong Community Health Improvement Plan and the department's commitment to involve residents in decisions that affect the health of the whole community.