Director's Office

Photo of the Director of Iowa Department of Public Health

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's 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 protect and improve the health of all Iowans through the work of the Deputy Director’s Office, five Department Divisions, the Office of the State Medical Examiner, the State Public Health Medical Director/ Epidemiologist and the State Board of Health in accordance with the IDPH strategic plan.

Past Status Reports

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

Contact Information

Gerd W. Clabaugh, MPA, Director

Lucas State Office Building
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
(515) 281-7689