Clay County Health Department


A Message from the Director

Janice Patterson - Clay County Health Department Director

Public health has been referred to as the “silent miracle”.  We are fortunate today to have effective immunization programs that prevent most of the horrific disease outbreaks such as polio occurring in the 1950’s.  Modern research has provided many wonderful vaccines and medical treatments for old diseases. 

Today, we face new challenges such as pandemic flu, lifestyle induced health problems, and bioterrorism.  In years past, Clay County was isolated, but today we have citizens that travel to foreign countries and are at increased risk to acquire diseases and spread them back to our community.

The health department has a communicable disease team that is trained and responds rapidly to disease outbreaks in our community.  We participate in the computerized Health Alert Network which helps us quickly learn of emergency situations.  The authority to investigate, isolate and quarantine infected individuals remains a responsibility of the Health Director.     

The Clay County Health Department is committed to the citizens of our county to identify causes of disease and death.  We evaluate data from many sources to help guide development of health programs and services to improve the health of our community.  We collaborate with other agencies and partners to provide health services and information. 

Access to dental care has been a long-term and serious problem in our county and surrounding counties.  Clay County Health Department opened The Far West Dental Clinic in 1995 to provide full service dental care to children in Clay, Cherokee and Graham Counties.  In 2004, the health department started open access and employed a primary care provider to be available to patients every day of the week.  Clients can take advantage of affordable preventative and screening health services every day of the week rather than a few times a month when a contract provider was available.

The environmental staff of the Clay County Health Department supervises the installation of septic systems for home owners, inspects wells, restaurants, daycares, nursing homes and camps in the county.  They are an important member of the outbreak investigation team prepared to respond to disease outbreaks in our community. 

The focus of Clay County Health Department is on the community rather than on a single individual.  Our mission is to constantly monitor the health of our community in an on-going manner to quickly identify problems and implement measures to limit or stop disease, death, and disability.     


Clay County Health Department
P.O. Box 55
Hayesville, NC 28904

Phone: (828) 389-8052
Fax: (828) 389-8533


© 2006 Clay County Health Department

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