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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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125 Years of Florida Public Health

Florida Department of Health - St. Johns County

  •  904-209-3250

    Mailing Address

    200 San Sebastian View 


    Saint Augustine, Florida 32084 

125 years banner

The Florida Department of Health is recognizing 125 years of Florida Public Health during 2014 with educational and commemorative events.  The state Legislature created the State Board of Health on February 20, 1889, in response to yellow fever epidemics in Jacksonville and other port cities, and Dr. Joseph Yates Porter from Key West became Florida’s first State Public Health Officer.

Florida’s rapid population growth was due in large part to public health efforts that controlled disease and improved environmental health.  Throughout 2014, the Department will offer educational and health information opportunities in light of the 125th anniversary. The Department invites Florida’s residents and visitors to join in recognizing 125 years of protecting, promoting and improving the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Please explore the resources found on this special webpage, like the Historical Podcasts and Images and visit the 125th Recognition Facebook Tab. These resources primarily draw on archived documents, photographs, film, tapes, personal interviews, and living testimonies which represent only a fraction of the recorded history and records held at the State of Florida Archives in Tallahassee, the Florida Memory Project, private collections, State Board of Health historical building in Jacksonville and throughout the offices of the Department of Health in all 67 counties of Florida.

*Note: This page contains materials in the Portable Document Format (PDF). The free Acrobat Reader may be required to view these files.