Health Department

About Us

Independence Health Department
515 S. Liberty Street
Independence, MO 64050

The Independence Health Department was formed in 1963. The staff started with one physician and, over the years, has grown to a department of more than 25 full-time employees consisting of public health nurses, health educators, policy specialists, and code enforcers. Today, the Independence Health Department includes four main divisions: Administration, Disease Prevention, Environmental Public Health, and Communicable Disease & Immunizations.

The Health Department is committed to protecting its citizens and visitors in all matters pertaining to public health and recognizes the value of community collaboration for expanded opportunities to better serve our citizens.  We are dedicated to a process that results in greater citizen satisfaction throughout all our divisions.


Administrative Offices     
Phone: (816) 325-7182
Fax: (816) 325-7098
Animal Services
Phone: (816) 325-7205
Property Maintenance
Phone: (816) 325-7193
Disease Prevention
Phone: (816) 325-7185
Communicable Disease & Immunizations    
Phone: (816) 325-7185
Permitted Establishments
Phone: (816) 325-7194 

Department Leadership

Andrew Warlen, MPH, Health Director

(816) 325-7986

Michael Jackson, MPH, Assistant Health Director: Environmental Public Health

(816) 325-7008

     Jennifer Polston, Animal Services Manager

(816) 325-7211

     Diane Egger, CEHS, Environmental Public Health Supervisor: Property Maintenance

(816) 325-7056

     Ryan Lester, MPH, Environmental Public Health Supervisor: Permitted Establishments

(816) 325-7004

Christina Heinen, Public Health Manager: Accreditation

(816) 325-7996

Shawnna Jackson, MSN, RN, Public Health Manager: Communicable Disease and Immunizations

(816) 325-7188

Alicia Nelson, CHES, Public Health Manager: Disease Prevention

(816) 325-7006

Board of Health

The Board of Health acts as an Advisory Board to the City Manager, Department of Health, and City Council on matters pertaining to public health. The Board also investigates and studies in the field of public health that, in its judgment, will be helpful in carrying out its general purposes. The Board consists of ten members who represent various professions directly concerned with general matters of health. Board members include four licensed medical practitioners at least two of whom must be physicians, one dentist, one veterinarian and four lay members.

Advisory Board of Health Members

Kathleen Bennett, RN

Howard Braby, MD

Lois McDonald

Donald Potts, MD

John Ruddy, PhD

Ralph K. Ruckman, DDS, Chair

Rick Schrock, DVM

Christopher Sullivan, MD, Vice Chair

Jason White

Lori Halsey