On Thursday, Feb. 20, health departments across Florida celebrated the 125th anniversary of public health in Florida.

Florida’s health department was born when a young Marine, Dr. Joseph Yates Porter, was appointed the state’s first public health officer after helping to control an outbreak of yellow fever in Jacksonville.

At health department offices in Apalachicola and Carrabelle, workers and guests celebrated public health with healthy snacks, free dental supplies and lots of literature on staying fit. Behind a display table, a slide show highlighted the history of public health in Franklin County.

 “Today as we celebrate 125 years of public health, it is fitting to reflect upon those whose shoulders we now stand on,” health department spokesman David Walker said. “And to take note of the contributions of the countless people of public health whose often selfless and valiant efforts to protect and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts are remembered.”