100 years ago, Woodrow Wilson was president, World War I had just ended and public health in Ohio was in need of some organization. The enactment of the Hughes Act and the Griswold Act provided that much needed re-organization and laid the foundation for public health efforts still in effect today. In the 100 years that have passed since the enactment of Hughes-Griswold, public health has had a significant impact on health and quality of life: People are living longer, immunizations are available to prevent 18 deadly diseases; food safety and sanitation has improved and motor vehicle fatalities have been reduced by 90 percent. While the last 100 years have been filled with much success and progress, the next 100 years promises to show the ever-growing presence and importance of public health in our everyday lives. Join us as we celebrate 100 years of public health with the theme "How the past has made public health matter."
Ohio Public Health Timeline
1900s Leading Cause of death is flu/pneumonia, TB, gastrointestinal illness
1918 Spanish Flu kills 25-50 million people worldwide
1919 Hughes-Griswold Act establishes basis for combined health districts and sets in motion the creation of most county health departments setting minimum standards
The Hughes-Griswold Act, passed in 1919, established municipal and general health districts across the state of Ohio to ensure that the state could effectively respond to public health crises. Although all municipalities in Ohio were required to form a Board of Health in 1893, after a statewide smallpox epidemic in 1917 and the nationwide influenza epidemic in 1918, it became clear that a more comprehensive and formalized approach to public health was necessary. In April 1919, Representative Hughes of Lorain introduced a law that established 102 health districts of two classes: municipal (in cities over 25,000) and general health (villages and townships). Each health district was required to have a full-time health commissioner, at least one full-time public health nurse, and at least one fulltime clerk. While the bill did not pass before the legislature adjourned, when they reconvened, the legislature passed the Hughes Bill with the Griswold Amendment in December of 1919. The amendment allowed for cities of 5,000 people or more to constitute a city health district and altered requirements for the Board of Health. – Courtesy of Lorain County Health Department
1920s Dairy sanitation standards
(1924 National Public Health Service Created document to assist in development of statewide milk sanitation program in Alabama)
1920s Maternal and Infancy Act enabled state health departments to employ nutritionists, and during the 1930s, the federal government developed food relief and food commodity distribution programs, including school feeding and nutrition education programs, and national food consumption surveys.
1925 Ohio starts national reporting of communicable disease
1930s Federal food assistance starts (SNAP)
1953 Ohio adopts statewide food code
1953 Ohio LHDs given authority to abate nuisances, 3707.01
1955 National Polio Vaccine Effort (April)
1966 Medicare Takes Effect After the Medicare Act was signed in 1965, it went into effect, ensuring all Ohioans (and U.S.) residents 65 and over would have health insurance, regardless of income or medical history. The act led to the expansion of the nursing services in many LHDs, and also allowed for home care agencies to receive reimbursements. (From Lorain County Health Department)
1974 Federal WIC Program begins. WIC offices open in local health departments in following years.
1977 Ohio Minimum Guidelines for Sewage Systems Issued
1977 Ohio adopted rules for school inspections (1953 given authority for unsanitary conditions on school property)
1978 Ohio requires vaccinations for school (July), ORC 3313.67
1979 Smallpox declared eradicated
1986 Ohio mandatory seat belt law went into effect. (May 1986) Ohio became the 17th state to require drivers to buckle up.
1987 Pool licensing, sanitation & safety authority given to LHDs, ORC 119
1994 Back to Sleep Campaign Starts nationally
Over 50% reduction in rate of SIDS
2005 Breastfeeding allowed in public
2006 SmokeFree Ohio passes
2009 Ohio passes booster seat law for children until age 8 or 4’9” tall
2015 Statewide Sewage Rules Adopted
2019 Celebrate 100 Years of Public Health: Added 25 Years to the life expectancy