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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The city of Independence has established its own health department after eliminating some services in 2018.

Mayor Eileen Weir made the announcement Monday.

“The year 2020 has shown all of us the importance of public health and we have been working diligently with our State of Missouri partners to take steps to re-establish the standalone Health Department for the City of Independence,” Mayor Eileen Weir said.

“We received official word late last week that all steps had been approved. We are now working to ensure that we have access to the necessary regional collaborations, grants and resources we need to provide our citizens with the valuable care needed during the COVID-19 pandemic and their daily lives,” she said.

In 2018, Independence eliminated some services that were offered through the Jackson County Health Department.

Mayor Weir announced that Christina Heinen, who has been serving as acting director of the health department since 2018, will serve as the director of the transition.

“We have begun the process to reform services needed to provide for the health of our citizens and businesses within the department,” Heinen said. “We will work closely with the Board of Health and the Incident Command Team to provide further guidance to our citizens throughout this ongoing public health emergency.”