A Continued History
Grace Gates served in the capacity of the administrator until 1974. Through the years, both Grace Gates and Virginia Downing continued to provide support to the agency in a variety of ways, providing nursing services and serving as interim administrators for the agency. Grace Gates served the Harper County Health Department as a member of the Advisory Board until her death in March 2011. Virginia Downing currently serves as the Public Health Emergency Prepared Regional Coordinator. Former administrators for the agency include:
- Grace Gates
- Barbara Morisse
- Freida Schmidt
- Rosie Walker
- Rita Bonetti
- Sherry Vierthaler
The agency has employed a number of individuals since inception, many of these employees providing quality services to the community for a number of years. The nature of the work provided by the agency staff involves a level of caring, commitment, and dedication to the community that goes far beyond the regular work hours and formal compensation.
In 2021 the agency has a number of employees that will reach milestones in the number of years they have provided quality service to the community:
|Heather Struble||Administrator||29 years|
|Jonna Gaffney||Public Health Clerk||13 years|
|Kim Bauer||Public Health RN||12 years|
|Ellen McDonald||APRN, FP Practitioner||6 years|
Current employees with less than five years of service include:
- Christina Becker, Attendant Care/Personal Service
- Jennilee Loehr, Public Health RN
- Karla Wade, Public Health Clerk
The Harper County Health Department has continued to grow and change over the years to meet the health needs of the community, to promote prevention and wellness, and to protect the community and the environment. The office of the Harper County Health Department / Harper County Home Health Agency moved across the street from the courthouse in 1993 to a new building at 123 N. Jennings, Anthony, Kansas 67003-0066. The Harper County Home Health Agency was closed November 1, 2017, however basic in-home services are still provided through the Harper County Health Department. Staff members continue to provide services in the Harper County community through public health services, including Public Health Clinics on scheduled dates at Harper and Attica, as well as participation in community health events.
Community Honor Event
A community reception was held on September 18, 2006 to recognize the initial employees who started the agency and celebrate 40 years of community service. Heather Struble received the Kansas Home Care Association (KHCA) award for the Kansas Home Care Administrator Honoree of the Year during the annual meeting in September 2006. Linda Patrick received the KHCA Home Care Paraprofessional of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 17, 2008. Grace Gates was honored with the KHCA Home Care Hero Honoree of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 23, 2010. Virginia Downing was the KHCA Home Care Hero Honoree of the Year at the KHCA annual meeting on September 21, 2016.
In 2016 the agency celebrated 50 years of providing community health services to the Harper County community. We welcome you to visit our office and to take advantage of the services we provide.