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The Joplin Health Department dates back to 1889. It was initially called the Department of Health and Welfare and organized for the purpose of providing a state approved local milk program. When a new City Hall building was erected in 1908 at 201 Joplin Street, the Health Department was housed in the facility and remained there until August of 1963 when it moved to a new location at 1052 Main Street.

In order to meet the needs of the community, other health programs had to be developed and more space required and so, again in January 1970, the Joplin Health Department (JHD) was compelled to relocate to the property at 513 Kentucky Avenue. It remained in this location until June 2006 when it moved to its current location at 321 E. 4th Street in Joplin.

JHD provides the following services:
•Animal control
•WIC (Women, Infant, Children)
•Emergency preparedness, and