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Public Health - News

Posted on: January 8, 2019

Jefferson County Public Health celebrates its 60th anniversary

Jefferson County Public Health 60 Years of Service Logo

Jefferson County, Colo. — In 2019, Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is celebrating its 60th Anniversary of service to the people of Jefferson County. Here at JCPH, we pride ourselves in our mission to promote and protect the health of all residents across the lifespan through prevention and education efforts, as well as partnerships with other organizations, agencies and businesses in the area. 

“While we began as one of the members of Tri-County Health Department in 1948, we became the Jefferson County health department in 1959, focusing the work of our vigilant public health workforce on the residents of this county. It was a very different time for public health. Seatbelts were optional in cars and cigarettes had no warning labels,” said Dr. Mark B. Johnson, MD, Executive Director of JCPH. “JCPH has worked with the community through those public health milestones and more, and we look forward to continuing to help create the healthiest community possible.”

Jefferson County Public Health began with a staff of only 24 employees and had only one location at the old courthouse in Golden. Now, JCPH’s 188 employees span across five locations throughout the county — Lakewood, Golden, Arvada, Wheat Ridge and Littleton. 

“Jefferson County Public Health has been a leader at the forefront of developments in local public health,” said Greg Deranleau, President of the Jefferson County Board of Health. “Now, as we begin our 60th year, we’re proud to continue that trend. The staff at JCPH does phenomenal work each day to make our county a better place to live, work, play and learn.”   

JCPH has tackled some major milestones and participated in some of most noteworthy public health accomplishments in Colorado and beyond:

  • 1960: JCPH holds its first flu vaccine clinic. In 2018, JCPH administered more than 4,000 vaccines, including approximately 900 flu vaccines. 
  • 1962: JCPH opens a birth control clinic to provide families with low-income with reproductive health services. 
  • 1967: The Jefferson County Board of Health adopts its first-ever local septic system regulations. 
  • 1974: JCPH opens its first WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) and serves 215 clients. Now, Jeffco WIC serves more than 6,200 clients across four permanent locations, and offers pop-up clinics in two additional communities. 
  • 1990: The Tobacco Prevention Initiative at JCPH begins. 
  • 1996: JCPH begins its Prenatal Plus program, a nurse home visitation program for expecting mothers. JCPH has offered some form of nurse home visitation services for more than five decades. Now, Prenatal Plus is called Healthy Start at Home and is one of four programs that offer home visits: Healthy Start at Home, Nurse-Family Partnership, Human Services/Public Health Collaboration Program and the Health Care Program for Children and Youth with Special needs.
  • 2002: JCPH opens the Emergency Preparedness Program in response to bioterrorism, SARS and other global threats. 
  • 2003: JCPH opens its Integrated Mosquito Control Program in response to the first cases of West Nile Virus in Colorado in 2002. In 2003, Jeffco saw its first human case of the virus. 
  • 2009: JCPH carries out the largest vaccination effort in its history in response to the H1N1 outbreak in Colorado, immunizing more than 20,758 adults and children at clinics located at public schools around the county. 
  • 2012: Colorado voters legalize recreational marijuana, following legalizing medical marijuana in 2000. This created an increased need for substance use prevention programming at JCPH, especially among youth. In 2017, Jefferson County Communities That Care was founded in an effort to address substance use, mental health and violence among teens in the county. 
  • 2013: Environmental Health Services starts Team Up For Food Safety (TUFFS), a recognition program for retail food establishments who go above and beyond for food safety. In 2018, TUFFS had 143 members. 
  • 2016: JCPH begins prescribing PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, a once-daily medication that prevents HIV infection. 
  • 2016: JCPH opens the county’s first syringe services program, Points West, to reduce the spread of blood-borne diseases, like HIV and Hepatitis, among individuals who inject drugs. In its first two years of operation, Points West grew to serving more than 500 people in Jefferson County. 
  • 2018: JCPH opens a new WIC location in Littleton, marking the furthest south public health location and the fourth WIC location in Jefferson County. In addition, Jeffco WIC starts offering services once per month in Evergreen to better reach populations in need living in remote mountain areas of the county. 
  • 2018-19: JCPH partners with St. Anthony Hospital — Centura Health and SCL Health Lutheran Medical Center to create the first-of-its-kind Joint Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan. This partnership marked a noteworthy union of resources and experts to best identify and serve the Jefferson County community.  

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, JCPH will be sharing stories from its workforce and its history throughout the year. Follow us on Facebook @jeffcopublichealth and on Twitter and Instagram @jeffcoph to see updates. To learn more about JCPH, the many services we offer and how we can help you and your family live healthier, safer lives, please visit us at jeffco.us/public-health.


About Jefferson County Public Health

Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan through prevention, education and partnerships for all people. To learn more about JCPH, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.


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