About Public Health

Health Officer Drenda Niemann

Montana state law recognizes the importance of healthy communities by providing for local administration of a public health system. 

In Lewis and Clark County, the Board of Health oversees identifying, assessing, preventing, and ameliorating conditions of public health importance. It accomplishes this, in part, through the appointment of a health officer to oversee the local health department. The board named Drenda Niemann, the current health officer, to this position in 2018. Makeup of the Board of Health is established in its bylaws.

The mission of the health department is to improve and protect the health of all Lewis and Clark County residents.

Board of Health

Staff Directory

Organizational Chart

Role of Public Health

The role of a public health system is to:

  • Monitor health status to identify community health problems.
  • Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community.
  • Inform, educate, and empower people about health issues.
  • Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems.
  • Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts.
  • Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety.
  • Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable.
  • Assure a competent public health and personal health-care workforce.
  • Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility, and quality of personal and population-based health services.
  • Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems.

 What Is Public Health?

Public Health is Your Health! Most people don't understand what public health is or how it impacts their daily lives. The "This Is Public Health" campaign was designed by the Association of Schools of Public Health to let people know that public health affects them on a daily basis and that we are only as healthy as the world we live in. Learn more from this 3-minute YouTube video:

~  Our mission is to improve and protect the health  ~
of all residents of Lewis and Clark County.


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Drenda Niemann
Health Officer

Eric Merchant
Communicable Disease Control and Prevention Division

Community and Family Health Promotion Division

Kathy Moore
Environmental Services and
Water Quality Protection District

Gayle Shirley
Communications and Systems Improvement Manager