Vision:  Putnam County will be a safe, healthy, and knowledgeable community.

Our History

1975: The Beginning

January 15, 1975 – County Court consisting of Presiding Judge Wayne Fleshman, Associate Judges Bob Hatfield and Bryce Whitacre, and County Clerk Emery Welsh met with Dr. Partin and others from the Missouri Department of Health in regards to setting up a County Health Unit. The Unit had already been federally funded for a two-year trial period. The Missouri Department of Health and the County Court wanted to proceed “as speedily as possible in order to the unit operational”.

March 10, 1975 – County Court hired Nettie Lewis, R.N. as Public Health Nurse for the Health Unit.

April 10, 1975 – Carolyn Grimes was hired by County Court as secretary to work with Nettie Lewis. Total Yearly Budget: $25,000.00 annually. The salary for Public Health Nurse was $600.00 per month and Secretary salary was $407.00 per month. The Public Health Unit’s office in March of 1975 was on the 1st floor of the Putnam County courthouse. This office consisted of one room. A folding screen was used to divide the office and give privacy for immunizations, etc. The Health Unit provided home visits to patients, communicable disease control, immunizations, blood pressure checks, and awareness programs. There were no charges for any of these services.


January 1976 – Donna Pickens, R.N. was added to the staff of the Putnam County Health Unit. When Donna left in May 1979, Connie Michael R.N. was hired as Public Health Nurse.

July 6, 1976 – County Court was presented with a petition bearing the required number of signatures of qualified voters to vote on a 10-cent mill tax levy for maintenance of a County Health Unit.

August 13, 1976 – County Court went over the returns of the August 3, 1976, Primary Election (which had been certified by the Judges of the Precincts) for a 10 cent mill tax levy to maintain a County Health Unit. Results were as follows: 1,415 voting Yes in support of a County Health Unit and 303 voting No.

October 4, 1976 – County Court consisting of Glenn E. Staggs, Presiding Judge, Bryce Whitacre and Harold Hatfield, Associate Judges, and Emery Welsh, County Clerk, appointment Dr. Charles Judd, David McCullough, Donna Norris and June Rose Minear to serve as members of the County Health Unit Board. The 5th member was to be appointed at a later date.


The Health Unit rented an office from Dr. Dale on the South Side of the Unionville square, 1613 Grant Street. This allowed the Putnam County Health Department to provide additional programs and services. This building was later purchased from Dr. Dale. The office was approximately 950 square feet with a lobby, treatment room, 4 offices and a small conference room that doubled as a staff break room among numerous things.


With the needs of the community increasing additional nursing help was needed. Jeanie Johnson R.N. was hired.


After 27 years of dedicated service, Nettie Lewis retired. Beverly Staggs was hired to be the new Administrator. She served until 2006. With the position of Administrator vacant, Connie Michael was appointed Interim Administrator. Connie was offered the position of Administrator later in the year. She served as Administrator until her retirement.

2007 – Year of Change

With more than 25 years of service, Connie Michael and Carolyn Grimes retired. It was an honor to have their dedicated and loyal service for so long. 2008 was a year of growth. Funding from the Missouri Foundation for Health presented. Putnam County Health Department applied for the grant and was awarded $60,000.00 for renovations.


Ericka Klingner served as Administrator for 12 years from 2007 to 2019. During her employment with the Health Department, Ericka was awarded various grants including a Missouri Foundation for Health Grant that assisted in improvements to the Unionville City Park, McCalment Park and constructing a walking trail at the PC-R1 ball fields. In 2016, the office was renovated and expanded to include a kids play area, large waiting room, two exam rooms, conference room, staff training room, three handicapped accessible restrooms, seven offices, a breastfeeding room and a storage shed.


Joetta Hunt serves as the current Administrator. We have five full-time employees, three part time employees, and two contracted individuals. Our annual operating budget is approximately $500,000 per year. Renovations in 2022 provided an additional 400 square feet to include an additional office, expanded lobby space, and front foyer.