February 25, 2013, marks the 100-year anniversary of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Over the last 100 years, public health advancements including disease control, immunizations, maternal and child health, sanitation, and safer food and drinking water, have been credited with adding 25 years to our life expectancy in the United States.

In most recent years, ADH has worked to ensure laws and regulations to restrict smoking, establish a comprehensive trauma system, impose graduated seat belt laws, expand mass flu clinics and school flu clinics, and expand water fluoridation. Future public health activities will have to address obesity, chronic disease prevention and treatment, teen pregnancy and infant mortality.

The Lonoke County Health Unit, a division of ADH, provides many services to our area. Immunizations for children and adults, the Women, Infants and Children Supplemental Food Program (WIC), sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, environmental health services, In-Home Services, and tuberculosis diagnosis and treatment are just a few of the services provided. We work with our public and private schools and parents to provide school flu shots for children and collaborate with community partners to provide the yearly mass flu clinic. We also work together with community partners in the Hometown Health Improvement coalition, TOUCH, to improve the health in our community.

As we continue to work together with our community, we look forward to reporting public health improvements in the upcoming years.

Congratulations, ADH, for 100 years of service to the citizens of Arkansas!

Milton Garris

Administrator, Lonoke and Cabot Health Units