Public Health


Carlton County Public Health has been in operation since 1920. Public Health provides a variety of programs and services and is funded primarily through grants, waivers, state medical assistance, insurance reimbursements, and local tax dollars. Public Health is a service provided to county residents just like law enforcement, fire, and emergency services. Just over 30 staff make up the Public Health, split between the two groupings - the Family and Community Unit and the Long Term care Unit. An overview of Public Health services/programs is described below. Carlton County is also part of the Carlton-Cook-Lake-St. Louis Community Health Board, a joint powers of the four county region.

The roles of public health staff are to work in the six areas of public health responsibility (outlined in the Local Public Health Act) to work with individuals, communities and populations:

            - Assure an adequate local public health infrastructure

            - Promote healthy communities and healthy behavior

            - Prevent the spread of communicable disease

            - Protect against environmental health hazards

            - Prepare and respond to emergencies

            - Assure health services

What guides our work?

Community Health Assessment (as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health): "A community health assessment (CHA) identifies and describes factors that affect the health of a community, and the factors that determine available resources to address those factors. A community health board, or another lead organization, collects, analyzes, and begins to use data to prioritize issues and make decisions." Find more information about the outcomes of our most recent CHA here.

Community Health Improvement Plan (as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health): "A community health improvement plan (CHIP) is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health problems in a community. It is based on the results of community health assessment activities, and is one step in a process to improve community health. The community health improvement plan is developed collaboratively, and defines a vision for the community’s health; the community health improvement plan is the community’s plan, not the community health board’s plan for the community." Currently, Carlton County’s CHIP priority areas as defined by the most recent CHA process are: Mental Health and Wellbeing Promotion, Substance Use Prevention, and Obesity Prevention.


Public Health employs a variety of professionals who work diligently to care for Carlton County residents in a variety of ways across the spectrum of health. Most of this work takes important partnerships and collaborations with community partners. Public Health relies on these community partners in order to create a comprehensive system for prevention and health care for residents. Carlton County values prevention and service delivery through innovation and regular quality improvement.

A listing of current programs/services are listed below, and you are encouraged to click the program/service to learn more.

            - Family Home Visiting

            - WIC and Lactation Consultation

            - Child and Teen Check-ups

            - Children’s Dental Services

            - Immunizations

            - Infectious Disease Response

            - Correctional Health Services

            - NE MN Suicide Prevention Regional Coordination

            - Statewide Health Improvement Partnership           

            - Emergency Preparedness

            - Mental Well-being & Resilience      

            - Environmental Health

            - Dementia Prevention/Health Aging

            - Long Term Care & Elderly Services

            - Minnesota Senior Care Plus

            - MNChoices

            - Special Needs Basic Care