Yakima Health District Gets Statewide Recognition - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Health District Gets Statewide Recognition

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YAKIMA, Wash-  The state senate passed a resolution Wednesday honoring the Yakima County Health District.  The District is the oldest city-county health department in the country and it turns 100 in June. 

Led by Senator Curtis King, the Senate recognized the department for it's century of service.  The Health District was formed in 1911 to deal with the typhoid fever outbreak in the Yakima Valley and the department is still dealing with major health problems today.  This year the health district received health communities outreach funding to address the some of the county's health challenges.

"Obesity, physical exercise and preventing tobacco smoke are going to be goals within that funding", says Sheryl DiPietro of the Yakima County Health District.

Those factors, as well as the high teen pregnancy and preventable hospital stays rate contributed to Yakima County's recent ranking as one of the unhealthiest counties in the state.  However the department says their primary focus is still preventing the spread of communicable diseases which include everything from tuberculosis to West Nile.