The Minot City Health Department was established by City Ordinance #23 in 1892. This was a time when communicable disease patients were served by the Detention Hospital.
In April 1941, at the Minot City Board of Health meeting, a resolution was passed agreeing to establish a joint Health Department with Ward County. This unit was organized April 1, 1942, and called the Ward-Minot Health Unit.
In 1943, the North Dakota Legislature passed a law enabling two or more counties adjoining each other to combine and pool their resources to form a full time health district. In that year, Burke and Ward Counties combined to form the Burke-Ward Health District.
- Two full time public health nurses served Minot's 16,577 people
- The health officer inspected all children returning to school after an infectious disease and issued permits for school attendance.
- Patch tests for TB indicated that 51 out of 593 students had been exposed to tuberculosis.
- Sanitarians enforced newly adopted food service ordinances and investigated a food poisoning outbreak at the State Teachers College.
The name "First District Health Unit" was adopted in 1945 after being joined by McLean County in 1944 and Renville County in 1945. It was the first multi-county health district in the state. The First District Health Unit (FDHU) expanded in 1948 to include Bottineau County, McHenry County in 1950, and Sheridan County in 1955.
During the 50's much time was spent in school health and sanitation. The Health Officer and Nursing Division were active in giving physical exams and shots. The sanitarians were trying to eliminate poor water supplies, introduce paper cups and improve plumbing and sewage conditions.
Important steps in the control of communicable diseases were taken in May 1955 when the first polio vaccine was made available through the Health Unit and in 1967 when the measles vaccine became available.
During the years of 1977 - 1979, WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) offices were established in each of the seven counties served by FDHU.
The year 1971 will be remembered as the year the FDHU office in Minot obtained a new home. A Hill-Burton grant and mill levy contributions from all seven counties comprising the Health Unit made the new building possible. Renovation and a new addition were completed in 1995 with the help of some carryover funds and a building loan.
Today, FDHU has at least one office in each county. Over sixty staff provide a variety of public health services such as preventative health care, environmental health protection, nutrition counseling, and health promotion and safety education programs.
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