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About The Cooper County Public Health Center

Cooper County Public Health Center is governed by a five member Board of Trustees. The Cooper County Commission governed the Public Health Center for the first 75 years. In August of 2006 the Citizens of Cooper County voted to pass a separate tax dedicated to only public health. In January of 2007, the Health Center officially transferred away from the Cooper County Commission. The current elected Board of Trustees are as follows: Patty Dick – Chairman, Harold Hombs – Vice Chairman, Stephanie Young - Secretary, Myrna Bruce – Treasurer, and Cindy Waller – Board Member at large.

The earliest history of any public health nursing in Cooper County was that of the Red Cross Nursing Service, which originated in 1928. It was supported by the Red Cross and a nurse, Miss Smith, was supplied by this organization. At this time there was 105 schools in the county and representatives from the Red Cross did vision and hearing in these schools. Mrs. Ben Stammerjohn, chairman of the Junior Red Cross, visited the schools with the nurse and gave out first aid information. During this time the Rotary Club held a crippled children and eye clinic in Boonville in cooperation with the University of Missouri.

The Red Cross Nursing Service was discontinued for a period of time, then the Cooper County Nursing Service was established in March 1931. The first nurse employed was Miss Dorothy Willis.

Through the history that was given to us by Mrs. Dorothy (Willis) Mansager, who now lives in Richmond, Missouri, we learned that the cost of the Nursing service was shared by the county court and the State Board of Health. The State Board of Health supplied all material for immunization clinics that were held throughout the county. Dr. G. A. Russell, County Health Officer, assisted by the county nurse held these clinics. There was a charge of ten cents (10¢) per child for these immunizations.