Dearborn’s Health Deparment:

A display of its history

Dearborn’s Health Department originated with village and township health officers in the area that worked to improve sanitation standards and control contagious disease outbreaks from the 1800s onward. As the city of Dearborn incorporated and grew bigger, the Dearborn Health Department was able to hire more staff and offer more services to the general public. In recent years, tighter budgets have forced the Dearborn Health Department to give over its duties to the Wayne County Health Department. This page showcases some Health Department items in the Dearborn Historical Museum collection.

For many years, the Dearborn Health Department produced monthly reports. Some of the most interesting figures listed are numbers of infectious disease cases.

Infectious disease cases during June 1930 and June 1940

Later Dearborn Health Deparment Annual Reports contained comparisons of disease numbers by year and other interesting figures such as medicine distributed

Figures from the 1965 Dearborn Health Department Annual Report

The services once offered by the Dearborn Health Department can be read in a 1953 booklet titled “What Your City Health Department Offers You” that can be accessed by clicking the image below:

Second grade class visits the Dearborn Health Department in 1953
Home nursing class offered by the Dearborn Health Department in 1950
When Do You Call Your Public Health Nurse? – A Dearborn Health Department Brochure

Health Officer Alfred E Woods with Luci and Dominic Rossi at a January 1955 Health Clinic
Councilman William H Broomhall starting off a Health Department chest x-ray drive in 1954
Dr Gerald McDonnell and Cynthia Jackson at the opening of the new Health Department facility at the Henry Ford Centennial Library – 1979

The Dearbon Health Department handled certifications for Baby Sitters, Food Handlers, and a number of other professions for years.

During its existence, the Dearborn Health Department was a primary distributor of important vaccines to the community.

Polio vaccine site set up at old fire station behind Dearborn City Hall – September 1958
Polio shot being distributed with high pressure gun – November 1958
Mass swine flu immunizations at the Dearborn Youth Center – November 1976