The State Board of Health is organized and for the first time public health work is assigned as a permanent function of state government. The board is given responsibility for regulating the practice of medicine and promoting sanitary and hygienic activities to control and prevent disease. Dr. John H. Rauch of Chicago, the highest ranking medical director on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's staff in the Army of Tennessee and sanitary superintendent for the Chicago Board of Health, is elected the first board president. For its first two years of operation, the board receives an appropriation of $5,000.
This site is a timeline of public health in Illinois, beginning with the organization of the first State Board of Health. The timeline is well designed with links to information grouped by decade. Many of the entries have images and some of these images can be enlarged by clicking on them. Besides the timeline, a visitor can click on a link to a section titled, "...Years Ago in Public Health." In this section, there are more than thirty short articles about new initiatives or developments in the Illinois public health system. As the title of the section would suggest, these articles each represent the state of public health at certain points in the past. For example, one article tells the reader that 37 years ago, Illinois enacted a law requiring all newborn infants to be tested for phenylketonuria. It would be wise for researchers to pay special attention to the dates, because the 37 years is counted from when the website was uploaded in 2002. For further information, visitors can follow links to the Illinois Department of Public Health homepage for health statistics, laws and rules, and health fact sheets.