The Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) serves a unique urban, suburban, and rural population of approximately 284,00 across 519 square miles in Winnebago County, Illinois. WCHD is a unit of Winnebago County government established under Chapter 111 1/2 Section 20C governed by a 12-member Board of Health. WCHD is led by the Public Health Administrator, Dr. Sandra Martell toward achieving the mission of healthy people in a healthy community that promotes health equity. Under the direction of the Public Health Administrator, the department develops policy, provides services, issues guidance, and works on initiatives including the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Through the Community Health Assessment (CHA) process conducted every 3 to 5 years, the community provides input to establish the health priorities of the CHIP.
The Winnebago County Health Department is organized around five (5) centers that provide direct services to the community to in alignment with the Strategic Plan and CHIP. Each Center delivers multiple programs mostly grant funded through grants. There are five (5) areas of support that provide direct assistance to the Centers and work toward the strategic goals of the department. Each Center and Support Service is lead by a director. The leadership team is comprised of the directors which work collaboratively with the Public Health Administrator.
Dr. Sandra Martell, RN, DNP
Public Health Administrator
Dr. Martell has over 30 years of experience working in public health starting her career as a public health nurse. She leads the department of approximately 100 staff toward protecting the health of the community and improving health outcomes for all who live and work in Winnebago County, ensuring all residents have the opportunity to achieve their best health. As the Chief Health Strategist for the County, Dr. Martell coordinates cross agency collaboration on issues of public health concern including improving maternal and infant health outcomes, the response to opioid overdose, and working toward becoming a trauma informed community.