Health Department

Our Vision and Mission

Vision Statement: We are a leader in planting the seeds of wellness that support healthy residents and a sustainable environment for a diverse community.

Mission Statement: The mission of the Greendale Health Department is to assess and protect the wellbeing of the community, by supplying accurate health information, building collaborative partnerships, and providing services that enhance health, prevent illness, and increase the resilience of our residents, especially the most vulnerable in our village.


"The First Wealth is Health"  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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.

 BABY with caption (2)

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, including Step Up to Better Health, a workgroup which encourages physical activity, the Food and Nutrition Group (FANG) which promotes healthy foods and nutrition, and Successful Aging in Greendale (SAGE) which works to explore and support innovative ideas to promote healthy aging.