Will County officials celebrate long-awaited ribbon cutting for new Health Department building
State of the art, 73,000 square feet building enhances delivery of critical public health services
Officials from Will County and the local health community today celebrated a ribbon cutting to dedicate the new state of the art, 73,000 square feet health department building which houses important public health programs, such as food safety inspections, outpatient mental health, better birth outcomes, and immunizations.
“We are proud of this beautiful new building and the essential public health services that are being delivered here,” said Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, Will County Executive. “A new building was long overdue, and this new facility will provide a safe, efficient environment for our employees and residents.”
The original health department building was built in 1920 and had far surpassed its useful life.
“I am so proud of all the staff of the Health Department who have consistently managed nearly 40 programs during the construction phase and then during a global pandemic,” said Executive Director Susan Olenek. “Our staff members are very resilient and dedicated to providing quality care to our residents.”
Members of the Will County Board of Health, the Tuberculosis Clinic Board, the local health care community, as well as county officials were present at the outdoor ceremony.
“County Board members have worked together over the last few years to maintain a solid financial framework for the County,” said Speaker Mimi Cowan. “This fiscal responsibility has made projects like the new Health Department facility possible. We are very proud to be able to serve the residents of Will County in this modern healthcare facility which will be safer and more pleasant for both visitors and our County staff.”
Illinois Department of Public Health Director Ngozi Ezike and Assistant Director Amaal V.E. Tokars also attended the event to highlight the important role that local healthcare agencies play in ensuring safe and healthy communities.
“I cannot think of a better example of the endless hours of work, dedication and commitment the Director and staff of the Will County Health Department have given to this community, than the opening of this facility,” said Ezike.
“Today’s ceremony celebrates a building that was opened and began functioning a year ago, not simply because COVID-19 restrictions prevented us from gathering at that time, but because of the priority that this team places on serving the people of Will County. For them, service is more important than celebration; and because of that mindset, we are indebted to them.”
The new health department building is also home to the Sunny Hill Tuberculosis Clinic. The health department also operates locations in Monee and Bolingbrook to bring their critical services to other parts of the county.
“The health department has been focused on protecting the public health throughout this pandemic,” Olenek said. “Our new building has made our services more effective and accessible for our residents.”
For more information about the health department and its services, visit the website: www.willcountyhealth.org.