Welcome to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) website. IDPH traces its roots to 1880, when Iowa’s first State Board of Health was formed. Its primary responsibilities included controlling infectious diseases and compiling birth and death records.
As Iowa’s population has grown and changed, so have public health’s duties. IDPH has evolved from primarily compiling and reporting statistics to an overarching mission of protecting and improving the public health.
Iowans don't often think about how public health impacts their lives unless there is an emergency. Public health efforts are numerous. Daily activities of public health include vaccinations, infectious disease control, professional licensing, water fluoridation, nutrition, and tobacco use prevention and control.
Public health efforts have resulted in a decline in deaths from coronary artery disease and stroke; safer and healthier foods; healthier mothers and babies; and an increased vaccination rate.
Ultimately, IDPH and its local public health partners are working towards healthy communities where healthy workplaces, recreation areas, and community environments encourage healthy behaviors.
IDPH works to promote and protect the health of all Iowans through the Director’s Office, the State Board of Health, and the five major divisions of the department:
The Director's Office activities primarily focus on the overall development of health-related policy, strategic planning and outcome overall.
The Iowa State Board of Health is the policy-making body for IDPH. It has the powers and duties to adopt, promulgate, amend and repeal rules and regulations, and advises or makes recommendations to the Governor, General Assembly, and the IDPH Director on public health, hygiene, and sanitation.
I invite you to explore our website to learn more about IDPH’s work and how every Iowan can help make Iowa the healthiest state in the nation.
Gerd W. Clabaugh, MPA
Director, Iowa Department of Public Health
Gerd W. Clabaugh, MPA, Director
Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075